Friday January 18, 2013

It has been a week filled with lots of Shannon moments for all of us.  Funny how that goes.

Some of it is to be expected as the scholarship applications are now in and ready to be reviewed by our Board of Directors.  It will be fun to read the essays and hear about what hockey has meant to each of these kids.  It makes me think about the kind of essay Shannon would have written, and that makes me smile.

The other Shannon moments just happened out of the blue, and we each found ourselves having to deal with feelings and emotions on the fly.

Erin got stuck in the middle of a classroom discussion about fighting with your siblings, and that left her feeling lonely.  She'd give anything for a good fight with Shannon right now.

Also this week, Dan and I each had instances of the dreaded "small talk" where we had to decide whether or not to share our story.

Dan did, I didn't.

Dan was making contact with a new potential customer and, while getting to know her, found out her kid plays hockey.  Not only plays hockey, but plays hockey in Waseca.  Waseca is the sight of the last goal Shannon ever scored.  So, Dan shared his story.  This woman was empathetic, and Dan left feeling good about the exchange, good about remembering Shannon.

My small talk moment came while sitting at the piano studio, waiting for Erin to finish her lesson, and found myself listening to a mother and daughter banter back and forth about entering high school next year.  After one smart ass remark from the girl, I chuckled a bit.  The other mom said "Look, you even made that lady laugh with your attitude.  She must have a 14 year old."  I could feel my stomach tighten as the woman turned to me and asked, "Do you?"  I just said, "No, my daughter's eleven, but I know the teenage type."

I left feeling guilty for not acknowledging Shannon.  But, in a quiet piano studio, how do you explain to a stranger that, well, you see, I should have a 14 year old, but, well, she died before she got to go to high school.  So, I said nothing about Shannon, and now this woman thinks I am the mother of only one child.  Wrong...

I guess we all realize that these instances will continue to happen in our lives.  It doesn't matter if it's been a year or ten years, we will always have to decide where and when to share our story.

On a happier note, there's a subtle Shannon tribute is taking place this weekend.  It's Hockey Day Minnesota tomorrow, and the outdoor high school hockey games will take place on Lake Pokegama in Grand Rapids - a really cool venue in a great hockey town.

If you watch the games on TV, just below the flag pole on the goal line, you might see a number 9 painted on the boards.  Thanks, Uncle Jeff...