Wednesday August 24, 2011

We head home from the lake today and even though there are two weeks left before school starts, this feels like the symbolic end to our summer. And we've have had a great one. We've been places and we've seen people and we've done things and we've had a heightened awareness of enjoying every memory we've made. Gratitude.

This week has been no different: Shannon learning to ski has been a highlight and the last two days she's made runs up and down the bay. We've worked and played around the O'Hara family cabin and the four of us even managed to put in three new dock sections together. Then there was the debacle last night: We were out of our swimsuits for the first time all day, dressed and ready to head into town for pizza and ice cream. Dan couldn't find his glasses and then realized he had jumped in the lake with them on. Back in the water (ok, everyone except me) to do some diving to locate the missing glasses before the sun went down... luckily the glasses were found and we laughed about it (mostly at Dan's expense) over a pepperoni pizza at our favorite place, Rafferty's in Nisswa.

So, now it's time to turn our attention to the things ahead: fall hockey tonight, school orientation and schedule pick up tomorrow and Shannon's next MRI on Friday. It's been easy up here to almost forget about Shannon's illness. She doesn't seem like a cancer patient when she's swimming and skiing and kayaking. But one look at my calendar reminds me otherwise: appointments tomorrow, MRI on Friday, and more follow up appointments next Tuesday.

I'm not sure how this next phase will be as I've been trying to psych myself up to put my energy towards the regular life stuff that's ahead - school, homework, fall sports, work for me and Dan... there's a part of me that wants to just stay on this perpetual vacation and spend all of our time together doing whatever we want, but that' not realistic. Shannon wants to be a normal eight grader, Erin wants to start middle school, they want some structure.

Shannon's health dictated what we did this summer - when she felt good, we were on the move and when she got sick, we circled the wagons and looked to our families and friends for support. I imagine that things will be the same going forward. As long as she's feeling good, we will forge ahead with normal, everyday activities, same as last fall and every fall before that. And I'll try not to waste energy worrying about the giant "what if" that follows us around. Stay in the present and enjoy today...