Thursday January 10, 2012

Shannon's funeral was a year ago today.  One final milestone in our year of firsts.  I can still picture all those kids sitting around the altar and paying their last respects to Shannon.  Looking those kids in the eye as they passed by us and shook our hands inspired us.  We didn't see that coming, and in the aftermath, Dan and I became determined to try and do something to honor Shannon's spirit and continue to connect with kids like those who attended the service that day.

From that inspiration came the idea of the memorial scholarship and, eventually, we started to dream bigger and progressed to creating the foundation in Shannon's memory.

This week has brought the first fruits of that labor.  I have been fielding phone calls and emails as seniors are turning in their scholarship applications.  Each time I go to the mailbox and find another application, it warms my heart.  In the next few weeks, our board of directors will review these applications along with the essays and letters of recommendation.  It will be an exciting day for us when we get to present the checks to our scholarship recipients.  Making something good come from a terrible loss has been our goal, and it will be satisfying to see it come to pass.

I have had two whole days without a doctor's appointment, but my streak ends tomorrow.  I am headed back to oral surgery to finally begin the process of replacing the teeth I loss during last summer's bone infection fiasco.  As an aside, I hope you readers don't think I have Munchausen Syndrome.  I swear, all my ailments are legit.  Also, isn't it a good thing we named this blog "O'Hara Family Blog" since lately it's been all about Jen?!?!  I guess I should have confidence that if you're still reading this, you still care.

Tomorrow I will get three posts put into my gums where the three teeth were removed.  Then those posts have to heal for 3 months or so before I actually get teeth implants placed.  So, it's good I can get this done now and it can heal while I'm going through my radiation.

Hopefully by June 1st I am done with all my appointments, I have new teeth, and I can go a few months without any medical needs.  It's good to have goals...

As for the other members of this family, their lives are more routine than mine!  Erin has two weeks left in the first semester of school.  Second semester she will start a couple of different classes, so that will shake things up a bit.  Basketball is a four day a week commitment right now, and we will be off to another one day tournament this Sunday.

Dan is on the road three weeks in a row here to start the new year.  Even with all his traveling, he has had enough flexibility to be around when I needed him to be.  He was able to attend my consultation appointments for my DCIS treatment, and he'll be here tomorrow when I have yet another oral surgery procedure.  I am grateful for that.

So onward we go, into the second year.  I continue to read about loss and write about our journey and I feel proud that, through it all, we've managed to laugh, to cry, to feel.  I hope this next year brings us a little less pain, and a little more acceptance.

Loss is our legacy.  Insight is our gift.  Memory is our guide. - Hope Edelman