Saturday January 18, 2014

I think I can, I think I can... We are finding satisfaction and exhaustion this week as we carry on with Shannon Cup events and start to focus on choosing this year's scholarship recipients.  Sometimes I still have to take a step back and say, "Is this really my life?"

I spent the day standing at a table, sharing my story with random strangers who are in town for the Shannon Cup.  Moms from all over Minnesota - towns like Buffalo and St. Cloud and Cottage Grove - are here watching their daughters play in a tournament named for my daughter.  It is a little surreal, still, two years later.

I see the looks those moms give me - some admiring what we are doing, while some wonder how I can be standing there, smiling and conversing.  They buy books and t-shirts and give me strange looks.

I understand why some look at me sideways.  Should I be laughing and smiling?  Are you ever allowed to do that again after your child dies?  People who have not been there cannot imagine it. They don't want to think about going through something like that.  But, here I am, standing in front of them, forcing them to do just that.

I guess I need to stay confident that whatever I feel, it's ok.  I am allowed to smile and laugh again.

Dan and I also find that putting our story out there allows others to share.  One of those moms today talked to me about losing her mother to brain cancer.  And we met yet another family who lost a young daughter to leukemia.    So, despite the sideways looks, every so often someone connects with the story, and that makes it all worthwhile...

We are having another successful fundraising weekend, so, I can take the strange looks, knowing that the end result is worth it.  Tomorrow our board of directors will meet to discuss the scholarship applicants.  Thanks to those moms from Buffalo and St. Cloud and Cottage Grove, we will be able to give out two scholarships again this year in Shannon's memory.

Yes, this is my life, now.  Running the foundation, still remembering, still making progress, still trying to make sense of it all...