The last 12 months have been the most challenging, emotional and enlightening time of my life. On January 18, 2017, my husband died of complications from heart failure one week before our thirteenth wedding anniversary. During the last several months of his life, we went from hospital to hospital on a roller coaster of medical and emotional ups and downs. During these months, I continued working and tried my best to continue to be self-sufficient. I have always been very independent and not one to ask for help. Once my friends and colleagues learned of our situation, the amount of support was overwhelming. From care packages, to the delivery of meals for the entire family at the hospital and gift cards, to support of my caffeine habit, I can’t express how meaningful it was to understand the extent of my support network and how much everyone wanted to help. I learned during this time that it is not weak to ask for help – in fact it makes people feel good to be able to help and do whatever they can during these challenging times.

After 14 years at Celanese, I am proud and amazed at just what an wonderful work family I have. With hindsight being 20/20, I can’t imagine making any different decisions than to spend the 15 years I did with Brian. We traveled and explored the world and learned to make each and every day we had together count. As much as his illness and death pained me, I still look back on our life together with love and happiness and am beginning to look forward to writing the next chapter in the book of my life with the knowledge that I am an incredibly lucky woman to have an amazing group of friends, family and colleagues in my life.

I am thrilled to be walking in this year’s American Heart Association’s Dallas Heart Walk with my Celanese team, just as Brian and I had walked together two years ago. This year, in addition to my Celanese family, I will be joined by my mother, one of Brian’s brothers, and his wife and son. I look forward to seeing you there!