Saturday November 17, 2012

Of the 45 weeks in my new life, this one has been among the hardest for me.  No reason in particular, no one event that set me off.  Just a sadness that I can't shake.  An ache.  This week, I can feel my broken heart...

Maybe it's that we've reached the point in the calendar where, a year ago, things started to go south for us.  Recollections of Shannon beginning to feel symptoms that we hoped might be medication related, but really were the beginning signs of tumor growth.  Recollections of Thanksgiving conversations last year about possible trips away to try experimental treatment, and our first mentions of Memphis and St. Jude.

Maybe it's the impending holidays which are weighing heavy on my mind.  I always feel a bit melancholy and introspective come holiday time, recollecting another year that has passed and wondering if I lived up to my potential in the last 12 months.  This year's holidays will be difficult, for sure.  Last year was hard, but at least we could still hold Shannon's hand.

Maybe it's that I am feeling restless and unsure about what the next stage of my life is going to bring my way:  there's the book, of course, and there's the foundation, but I still feel a need to figure out what's next for me...

Maybe it's all of these things.

But a pick me up came from a strange place today.  It came from a hockey rink.

Shannon's buddies, now playing on a team together as The Cannons, had a home scrimmage today.  I had such mixed emotions about going - a part of me was worried that it would be too hard to watch, and that I would be left wishing that things were different.  Wishing that life was fair, and that my little left winger was still out there.

But we decided to go, to see those girls and see our friends, and even Erin wanted to make a trip to the rink.  There were hugs and hellos aplenty for us from all the parents, and as the Cannons spotted us and heard us cheering, we are pretty sure we saw some smiles out there on the rink.  They see us, and they think of Shannon.  Maybe, in some small way, it makes it feel like a little piece of her is there with them.

It was good to see my hockey mom buddies and pretty soon I was cheering and laughing and we were poking fun at our kids and our husbands just like the good ol' days.  Those ladies each have their own favorite Shannon story and they feel completely comfortable reminiscing about her with us.  I love that. In the end, an hour at the rink with our friends turned out to be a pick me up.  I didn't see that coming, but I'll take it.

Erin has been really present with us this weekend, and that's been really nice.  She's been cranking out a bunch of homework, helping me and Dan with little projects around the house, and kicking both our butts at Mario Kart.  

Tomorrow it's Erin's turn to get her season started.  Her 7th grade Spartan basketball team kicks off the year with a one day tournament in Lakeville.  Then, it's a quick two day school week before the holiday season commences.

Thanksgiving week.  I guess I'm as ready as I'm going to be...

"Have courage for the great sorrows in life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace.  God is awake." - Victor Hugo