Wednesday October 24, 2012

I still find myself playing the calendar game.  This is something I've always done, comparing one year to the next, gauging progress and change.  It's common for me to comment on something by saying, "A year ago at this time..."  Since April 15th, the calendar game has been less fun than it used to be.

Actually, these days a year ago were some good ones.  Shannon felt good and we were carrying on with school and sports and life.  Reading and re-reading and re re-reading the book in recent days means I know what we were doing almost to the day throughout our journey.  Erin started reading me something from the book the other day and I could recite it back to her, verbatim.  Erin laughed and said "Geez, Mom.  Do you have this thing memorized?"  Um, yeah...

So, that means that I can tell you that last year during the last week of October we were getting the hockey schedule set for the year, starting basketball practices, getting ready for Halloween, and going to celebrate Papa O'Hara's 88th birthday.  I wrote a sentence in this blog last October that read "We continue to try not to be overwhelmed by the big picture because the little picture looks good."  Damn.

It struck me today that, if I think about it, those words ring true for me even now.  I shouldn't project to the future and worry about the big picture.  That's when the sadness and fear creep in.  Stay in the present.  If I look at the little picture that is today, it's a good one.

I taught tennis classes to some fun kids today, and Erin did all her homework and made herself dinner while I was teaching.  Excellent!  Then we were off to Erin's piano lesson where she and Glenna spent part of the lesson talking about the Broadway show we saw.  Glenna just happened to have a book full of Gershwin tunes, and she played a little 'S Wonderful for Erin before sending the book home for us so we could hunt and peck out some of these toe tapping tunes.

Dan is having a good day, too.  He's at the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Annual Show in Green Bay and this year it includes a tour of Lambeau Field.  Even a Packer hater can appreciate a chance to stand on that field.

So, if I look at the little picture, it's a happy one.  If I start to worry about what's ahead - winter, the holidays, etc. - I get scared.  I also know that the calendar game gets tougher in just a few weeks time.  A year ago this was the beginning of the last good month of Shannon's life.  I can't quiet my mind enough to forget that.

This weekend we will prepare for Halloween, and then go celebrate Grandpa Ed's 89th birthday.  Just like we did a year ago.  Same as it ever was.  And totally different.