Sunday September 16, 2012

Another week has flown by and, while it's been productive, I don't know if, in the big picture, I can say that I made progress.  Hard to explain all the feelings I have sometimes.  I'm not myself... the world looks the same and the people are the same, but everything is different.

Productivity is easy to measure - Erin is getting into a rhythm with schoolwork and her busy schedule.  She went to the football game with friends on Friday and today she did some volunteer work.  She's busy in a good way.  Dan had another productive week on the road and seems to have lots cooking right now as far as potential business goes.  Good places for them to spend their energy, no doubt.

As for me, sure, I can say I was productive.  It was hockey registration this week and with help we sold t-shirts and bracelets and we took donations for the scholarship fund.  Preliminary numbers tell us that the scholarship fund will be over $20,000 with this latest round of donations.  The plaque went up on the Shannon memorial at Graham Arena this week as well.  Dan and I stopped in there on Friday to take a look.  It's a beautiful tribute.

A bunch of my time this week was also spent securing release forms for material that I want to use in the book.  Minors who appear in photos and people who wrote material that I used needed to be contacted. People are more than willing to help out, but I found this tough work as it meant re-visiting those memories over and over.  The pictures and the letters are such beautiful, gut wrenching memories.

So, while I can say I'm being productive, if my goal is to forge ahead and move forward, I'm not sure I'm making progress.  So much of my time is spent working on these things that keep me thinking about the past. Can I be moving forward while still looking back?

On the other hand, would I want it any other way?  Probably not.  I don't want to forget.  What I want is to incorporate the loss of Shannon into our lives, into my being.  So, while I may not feel like myself lately, maybe that's because I am changing, finding the new me.  Maybe it's not that I'm not myself, but that I'm becoming my new self - forever changed, forever different.  I am that mom, the one who lost her daughter.  I am that woman, the one who's writing a book about it.

It's no wonder that familiar things don't feel the way they once did.  I guess that's the thing about life changing events - they change you.  We're still learning to navigate our changed world.  It takes time.  These are still the early stages of figuring out how we go on, how we move forward, how we honor the past, live in the present, and look forward to the future.

Accepting my new world - and the changed me - is a work in progress...