Happy Birthday Shannon

Today would have been Shannon's 18th birthday... we know that she's not here to celebrate, but how should we spend the day? After 5 years of living through her birthday without her, I still don't know the answer...

Grief and loss does change with the passage of time. It's like more things get piled on top of the wound, but you can still feel the wound underneath. Some days, the wound hurts more than others. Erin sat alone in her room last night, with nothing to do. It would have been the kind of night where you hang out with your older sister and watch a movie. Erin got the shortest straw of all...

And yet, day-to-day, Dan, Erin and I are happy. Our lives are rich and full and our friendships are deep and meaningful. We have thrived in many ways since the loss of Shannon. That's almost unbelievable to me, but it's true. Did we change? Did the people in our constellation change? Yes, in many ways the world became kinder to us...

People give us the benefit of the doubt. People admire us for how we've handled our loss. People root for us to succeed and be happy. We feel compassion from others more often than most.

In the past 5 years, we've been able to surround ourselves with people who allow us to talk about Shannon. We can speak of both our children without consequence. That is a beautiful thing. It doesn't make the wound heal completely, but it softens the edges.

Shannon as an adult... who can imagine that? I'm trying to with all my might...  Like many other milestone days that now happen without Shannon, I miss my sassy, smiling first born. But time marches on... relentlessly...

A week from today, we will head to Lake Hubert, Shannon's self-proclaimed favorite place on earth. We feel close to her there where memories of her childhood are easy to conjure up.

So, we will get through today.

Happy Birthday to you, Miss Shannon.


MGG Swings for Shannon


We had an incredible day on Monday at our 4th Annual Mayo Girls Golf Swings for Shannon event. 140 golfers enjoyed beautiful weather and a wonderful feeling of fellowship.

Each year we are humbled by the love and support of others... this year, we set a new record by raising $16,805. Truly amazing.

Putting on a tournament takes lots of time and effort. With that in mind, we have decided to run this event for two more years, seeing Erin through her high school career. The dates are:

                    Monday July 17, 2017 & Monday July 16, 2018

Don't get me wrong, all the work that goes into it is repaid many times over when I get the chance to connect with people... all because of Shannon.

So, thank you, thank you for your continued friendship, love and support. We wouldn't be where we are today without you...

Thursday July 14, 2016

It's been such an unsettled time in our country... violence and hatred and fear... I find at times like these that I want to look inward, close my circle, and hold tight to those that mean the most to me...

I don't have any answers.. just a need to acknowledge that I wish for peace, love and understanding...

As we prep for our big fundraiser next Monday, I am buoyed by those willing to give their time and money to the Shannon O'Hara Foundation. I look forward to seeing the groups out there on the golf course and I hope to have a chance to chat with all of you.

We've got some great raffle prizes again this year and our field is almost full. The Mayo Girls Golf team is doing their part to support the SOF and the girls will be out there volunteering on Monday.

So, I am looking forward to spending a day with people who care about something bigger than themselves. A group of people working together towards a common goal, supporting each other and the mission of the foundation. That will feel good...




Saturday July 9, 2016

I am happy to report that our week has improved. The water line is fixed, the giant hole in our yard is covered up, all the wet carpet and pad is gone, and fans are blowing to dry up at the basement...


New carpet is ordered, landscaper is next, and the insurance adjuster is scheduled to come out... cross your fingers...

So, this weekend we all get to take a break from things. Dan is playing in the member-guest golf tournament at Owatonna Country Club. He was a member there many years ago when Shannon was a baby... fun for him to be back with the boys.

Erin is off with her friends Lexie and Liz at Lexie's cabin... fishing, swimming, skiing and laughing...


And since we're in a holding pattern at home, Sunny and I could make the trip to northern Wisconsin to see my parents at their lake place. I haven't seen my mom since our cruise in April, so it's good to connect again. This view is better than looking at my torn-apart basement...


And, Sunny and Papa are happy to be together again...


So, after a rough week, a little R & R for each of us is just what the doctor ordered.


Thursday July 7, 2016

Well... some days are better than others...

Dan awoke yesterday to wet carpet in the basement... and it was getting worse... Erin and I were already in Cannon Falls for Erin's golf tournament.

With the help of neighbors and our contractor friend, they were able to figure out that the leak was from the water line to the well... somewhere under our house, the line has sprung a leak. Dan and friends couldn't empty the wet vacs fast enough to keep up. We had to shut down our shared well, leaving three neighbors without water.

Thein Well Co. came out on an emergency and the digging began...


At the same time, everything had to be moved out of the guest room (Shannon's room) and Erin's room to tear out the carpet and closet organizers, which were ruined...


One of my first thoughts was about all the Shannon stuff I had saved. Thank goodness the keepsakes I had stored on her closet floor were in  in plastic bins on her closet floor. Nothing got ruined... 

Part of the process of clearing out the room meant moving all of the stuff I have saved... Her box with school papers she wrote, her soccer and hockey team pictures...

And, the clothing of hers I kept... her favorite t-shirts, and, of course, the all important hockey jacket that she wore with so much pride... I couldn't help but pull it out and look at how small it was...


Uff da...

We had a temporary water source last night, and today the well company returns to try and thread a new pipe through the old pipe. If that doesn't work, more digging is ahead to create a new line. 

Carpet will get replaced, stuff that got damaged is just stuff. A pain in the ass, but not the end of the world... hoping today is a better day!

Friday July 1, 2016

It's a holiday weekend and Dan and I are currently working from a Caribou Coffee shop in Grand Rapids, MN. Today is a good day to have a job you can do from anywhere...

Erin and her friend Lexie are off at volleyball camp at the University of MN - Duluth. 48 hours on campus, and about half of the time is spent on the volleyball court... should be a fun experience for them and maybe even improve their volleyball skills...

Dan and I dropped them off in Duluth and made the trek over to Grand Rapids to visit my family on Pokegama Lake. Always good to catch up with Jeff, Mary Jane and their crew. They are salt of the earth kind of people... and, Jeff can tell a story with the best of them! Lots of laughs last night...


My cousins Nathan and Ryan and Ryan's family came over for dinner. Ryan and his wife have three boys under 5... highly entertaining! Fun to watch Deyton and Wiley play on the beach and drive the kid-sized gator around the yard. And, I got some time holding baby Tate...nice...

Today we will head back to Duluth to hook up with Lexie's parents Shaun and Kerri for a day on Canal Park. Then Saturday we get to watch Erin at the end of camp tournament before we head home for the rest of the holiday.

Life is good. Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

Friday June 24, 2016

Some highlights from this week:

Erin won a golf tournament... Volleyball training is in full swing, day and night... We had a live chipmunk in our house...

I am writing this morning from the shadows of the University of St. Thomas. After dropping Erin off at her leadership camp up at University of Northwestern in St. Paul, I made my way to my old stomping grounds... I needed a place to do a little work, so I found a familiar spot.

Hard to believe it's been 25 years since I graduated from college...  we have some interns working in Public Affairs this summer. They are oh so young...

Erin's summer is moving along nicely - a little golf, a little volleyball and lots of socializing... she sometimes is just going out as I'm going to bed! Erin has plans the next three weekends - leadership camp, volleyball camp and a trip to her friend's cabin. Oh, it's good to be a teenager... sometimes...

Back to the most exciting part of my week... Sylvie has figured out how to time the lag in our screen door.. she sneaks in and out as we come in through our garage. Sometimes we don't realize even that she's come back in the house...

I was working at the dining room table on Wednesday as Dan went out to his car. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sylvie scurrying across the floor... and then again... and then again...

When I finally paid attention, I realized she had brought a live chipmunk in our house.  She was letting it go, then catching it, letting it go, catching it... apparently, Sylvie just wanted to play.

I screamed and told Dan to come quick... about that time, the chipmunk sought refuge behind the upright piano. Dan and I pulled the piano out... but no chipmunk... it had crawled up into the back of the piano!

Dan shined the flashlight, we located the rodent and I grabbed it, ran to the door and set it free... let's just say I'm going to pay closer attention to the f%*&!#@ cat as she comes and goes...

So, that's what qualifies as excitement in my world...

Happy Friday, everyone!