Sunday November 29, 2015

We are home safe and sound from our Thanksgiving away in California. Four nights at a lovely resort, waking up to the sun rising on the mountains each day, time golfing and sitting by the pool, Thanksgiving with friends who are like family... the trip certainly checked all the boxes.

Erin tolerates time with us pretty well for a teenager. She said to me at the airport last night, "I can't believe how much time I spend with my parents!" This was not said in anger, but acknowledging that we are outside the norm. We are a tight knit unit of three. We need each other in ways that other families do not. When you've been where we've been, you lean hard on each other.

Erin knows we hold on tightly - how could we not? I joke with her that I can't wait to see where "we" are going to college. I think she's a little bit afraid that I an serious and will move into an apartment across from her dorm.

I hope we are just holding on tightly to the time we have together knowing that it will end. She will spend less time with us as she gets older. I know that. Intellectually, I know that. Emotionally, I admit that it's going to be hard. She's one of my best friends...

While sitting by the pool yesterday, we watched these two little sisters playing together. The big sister bossing the little sister around, and the little sister getting irritated and frustrated. We took the opportunity to talk about Shannon. We laughed about how Shannon would always be in charge. If they we playing house, Shannon was the mom and Erin was the kid. If they were playing school, of course Shannon was the teacher and Erin the student. The best of all was when they played restaurant. It was Shannon's show and Erin was just her employee.

It's good to share these memories between us three. I sometimes feel guilty about all the new memories we are making, the three of us, without Shannon. So much has happened in our lives now since Shannon. And that makes me sad.

But, if the options are to withdraw and live in the past, or continue growing and changing, well, I'll choose the latter. The pain of missing Shannon is worth the experience of living life. Erin deserves it.  So do I.