Tuesday December 10, 2013

"Gratitude makes what we have into what we need..."

This anonymous quote was posted outside my yoga class yesterday.  I use the term, "my yoga class" loosely.  I am the heaviest, least flexible person in there, but I'm giving it a go.

I think it's good for me to practice a little letting go, a little mindfulness, a little time to not think.  And that does take practice.  So does balancing on one foot.  Seriously, though, the mind/body connection is a strange thing.  Sometimes both are in knots.  I am trying to undo one or two of them...

We have been talking a lot about Shannon this week.  We talked to two more hockey teams - one high school team about the scholarship, and one girls team about this weekend's Shannon Cup.

We also had a little impromptu Shannon fundraiser this past Saturday, thanks to a dear friend of ours.  What started out as a get together for a bunch of his high school buddies turned into a chance for us to share our story with a new group of people.  That's all it took.  Thanks to the Lourdes class of '74, the Shannon O'Hara Foundation is now $1100 richer.  That's more than the "few bucks" we were expecting.  People are amazing...

Shannon came up in our every day conversation this week, too.  Erin, Dan, and I were sitting around on Saturday morning in our upstairs living room.  Just hanging out, chatting, eating breakfast.  Nobody was in a hurry to do anything. Then, Erin announced she was going to go down and watch some Netflix on the family room TV.  Dan set her straight, "I'm just about to come down and watch some college football."  "Dad, you're just like Shannon.  She didn't want something until I was going to use it, then she'd say, 'that's mine!'"

It was a funny memory, but what struck me about it is that Erin has made amazing strides.  She's done as good a job as any of us at integrating Shannon into her being.  She can tell a matter-of-fact Shannon story without it bringing her down.

We've been having a good time, the three of us, and sometimes that gives us pause.  Dan asked me this weekend if I thought we were in denial about how much we miss Shannon.  A little survivor's guilt?  How can we be laughing with Erin when Shannon's not here?

I've given it some thought - when I allow myself to think - and my answer is no.  We are not in denial.  We are coping.  We like to talk about Shannon, and we have to be able to do that without crumbling under the weight of what has happened.  I think we are truly coming to accept that we will never get over it.  That this is how it is.  And we are OK.

There is plenty for which to be grateful around here.  Practice gratitude.  Maybe we do have what we need...