Christmas 2020

The Westerman Originals

A year with so much sadness is ending on a hopeful note. And despite the many challenges, we have a lot to be thankful for.

Colleen continues to be cancer-free. We barely talk about it anymore, except each December when she takes the tests. The numbers continue to indicate complete remission. The highlights of her year centered around our kids and grandkids. She played a crucial role in the early months of the lockdown making it possible for parents to work without worrying about the little ones.

Scott released four books this year under his Terry Shepherd pen name. Chasing Vega, his debut detective thriller is an Amazon 5-star hit. A holiday novella, Chasing Cody came out in time for Christmas. But the big surprise is the success of Juliette and the Mystery Bug and Juliette and the Masked Hero. Now available as The Mystery Bug Collection, his Dr. Seuss-esque story, illustrated by Shelby’s talented husband, Casey Ratchford, of how to protect yourself during pandemic found its way into living rooms and classrooms across the country.

The KidsShelby is rockin’ it at Florida Blue. If you’ve ever read Seth Godin’s Linchpin, you get a sense for the value she brings to the organization. Casey‘s graphic artistry graces all of Scott’s kid books and readers agree it’s Disney quality.

Brandon managed the complex communications infrastructure at The Episcopal School of Jacksonville during an extraordinary year. His innate sense for strategy and institutional knowledge have been essential as the school navigates a world without paradigms. Steph continues to play a crucial role in Florida Blue’s marketing efforts. Her work on the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville board of directors helped the organization maintain a strong funding base in a year where fundraising events had to be reinvented.

Hudson and Juliette┬áHudson’s basketball shots from three point territory keep getting better. He’s an in-line skating ace, an excellent student, inveterate gamer and adjusted, like the rest of us to online interaction for much of the year.

Juliette is handling stardom like a pro. Her Mystery Bug videos have been seen on televisions thousands of miles from Jacksonville and she’s mainstreaming with kids her age at a neighborhood school close to home. She continues to impress us with her growing strength, verbal skills and independence.

Losing Judy Westerman-Silver in February is something we’re all still struggling with. Few touched more lives in such a profound and positive way in her 63 years. We continue to embrace, Ed, Tom and Jennie with our love and support. The circle of life called our second mom, Shirley Davis “Rusty” Schumacher home this fall. She was the last of our parents generation to pass, vivacious and exquisite to the very end and, no doubt, updating Hazen, Mom and Dad on our adventures..

Covid19 and the political season have been well covered in the media. We’ve witnessed the psychological repercussions first hand and send healing energy to friends and family who have been impacted. Scott participated in the Moderna Vaccine Study this summer and was excited to see that the drug’s efficacy will make it one of the tools to hopefully soften the pandemic next year.

This is the 447th blog post to this website since its debut on November 11, 2004. Looking back, much has changed. But we remain eternally grateful for the union that created our wonderful family, for the circle of treasured friends who have stuck with us through every move, every up and every down, and for the good fortune of a quality of life that is a true blessing.

We wish you and yours health and happiness throughout the holiday season and throughout 2021.