Tuesday February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day. Today is the first of many "firsts" when it comes to holidays. Good to start with a minor one, in my opinion. (Dan will be happy to read that I consider this a minor holiday, because he didn't get me anything. I shouldn't throw him under the bus - I didn't get him anything either!)

I did my usual mommy ritual of having a gift bag of goodies to surprise our children - our child - when she woke up today. I have to admit that shopping for only one of each thing was hard - I am in the habit of buying two ...

Dan and I have found ourselves missing Shannon, missing her physical presence. I suppose as time passes and we get further away from her actual time here on Earth, we will struggle to keep those images of her as a living, moving being in our mind's eye. Dan had a vivid memory of her striding ahead of us through the Gonda Building at Mayo, confident and assured as she headed off to another appointment. I was walking Sunny on the golf course yesterday and I could picture Shannon focusing on hitting the golf ball and reacting with a big smile when she hit a good shot. (Interesting that my memory chose that image instead of the frustrated look she would get when the golf ball didn't cooperate!)

I can never say that 13 years with Shannon was enough, but it has to be. That's what we had, and it was wonderful, and we made the most of it. Isn't that our hope as humans - to make the most of our time on this earth and live a good life? She did. And so I struggle to make peace with that thought. It has to be enough so that we can continue on our journey and not be stuck wanting something that can never be again... We know that intellectually, and yet emotionally we ache and miss her so.

Being a glutton for punishment, I am spending today organizing and putting away the cards, letters and gifts we've received over these past few weeks. Actually, re-reading the many kind words seems appropriate today. Of course, it is painful and heartwarming at the same time. Oh, sweet Shannon. In your short time on this earth, you did good.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou