Two years ago today we were taking part in the Med City 5K walk. With Shannon. That was the day we all wore the white shirts with the "I heart Shannon" on the front. We tried to convince Shannon to wear a special shirt that said "I AM Shannon" but she vetoed that idea.
That was the day Shannon was interviewed by Cris Conte from KTTC, and she uttered the words that carry us through on our tough days: "My life is going to mean something to someone, somewhere..." Those words are now on the back of a t-shirt and in the front of a book.
In many ways, time has moved quickly since that day. Erin is a completely different person than she was. We are all changed, but none of us more than her. Photos don't even do it justice, but I'm going to make you look at them anyway...
This goofy little girl has grown up, and for all she's lost, she's gained much, too. It's hard to scare her. She has a confidence because she's seen some bad things and felt such pain and loss, and yet, she's finding joy. We are, too.
Yesterday's joy came from watching Erin play in a JV golf event. She loved it and handled herself well, playing with two sophomore girls. Of the 25 girls playing, Erin finished fourth. Pretty dang good for someone who is supposed to be in 6th grade! She likes golf and has set a goal to be good enough to be a regular JV player next year. You go, girl.
Dan will not run in the Med City this year. A balky foot is curtailing his running these days. But, Memorial Day Weekend will always remind us of those races he's run - his first half marathon just one just a month after he got sober. The one last year in memory of Shannon.
And always, we will remember this day in 2011. The beginning of the support that we came to lean on over and over. We still do. The beginning of Shannon expressing her wishes - what she wanted and what she didn't. We have the video. We have the pictures. We remember Shannon. We remember.