Monday August 18, 2014

After a nice five day getaway, I am back home in Rochester, ready to resume my "normal" life.  It is good to get away, and it is good to come home.

Dan and Erin survived without me.  Things that needed to get done got done and Erin got where she needed to go.  They even managed to mow the lawn and do some laundry while I was gone.  I guess that means it's safe for me to leave again sometime, although Erin did say to me this morning over breakfast: "It's good to have you home.  We're a mess without you!"  I guess I know where I'm needed most...

My friend Teri and I had a great time watching tennis.  Getting to see Roger Federer play twice was just a bonus.  Any time you can watch a professional ply their trade, it's fascinating.  Roger is still the smoothest of them all.

We saw so many matches and so many different players:  Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Sloane Stephens, Andy Murray, John Isner, Gael Monfils... that's just a taste. Teri and I are absolute fanatics and we were both completely happy to spend 12 hours a day at the site, watching tennis.  In three days, we didn't go anywhere except our hotel room and the Linder Tennis Center.  Believe it or not, that exactly the way we wanted it!

When we weren't talking tennis, Teri and I talked about life.  We talked about kids and husbands and family and friends.  We talked about how it's sometimes messy, sometimes beautiful, sometimes confusing, and always interesting.  We talked about the what ifs, what might have beens, and the what is.

We talked about Shannon.

On Saturday night, we went out for dinner in downtown Ann Arbor.  It is a happening place with a great college town vibe.  The University of Michigan was even holding an open practice for the public to come see this year's football team.  It was being held at The Big House - Michigan Stadium.  It's an iconic venue in college sports, so Teri and I couldn't resist.

It was a beautiful night and a beautiful venue.  Being on the campus and seeing college kids fired up about life was cool.  And sad.  I don't know if it's the change of seasons, the start of a school year, the thought of kids going to college... but something triggered in me a sadness for what could have been. For Shannon.

Teri listened to me talk, and cry, about the curveball life threw me.  Teri knew Shannon as a toddler/preschooler/kindergartner before Teri and her family moved away.  Teri reconnected with Shannon by visit during Shannon's cancer journey and even spending time with us on the shores of Lake Michigan during Shannon's last summer.  Teri knew Shannon's spirit and knew that she would have loved an experience like sitting in that stadium, feeling a part of something bigger.

And yet, that isn't what happened.  So, we adjust our expectations.  Just because Shannon didn't get to experience that doesn't mean I can't talk about how much she would have enjoyed having that experience.  Maybe that's a way of keeping her spirit alive.

Yes, life is unpredictable and messy and confusing.... and beautiful.  I enjoyed my little getaway. We laughed and cried and connected.  I try to remember to be present in each experience and share it with those I love.

"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced." - Soren Kierkegaard