Another January 6th

Yes, another year has passed since Shannon's passing. Four years, how can it be?

As Erin said last night, that's a more than a quarter of her life. Erin was such a little girl when Shannon passed away. Want proof?

That's Erin as a 10 year old. Erin Now she's creeping up on 15. Shannon never knew her as a volleyball player, or a social butterfly. Erin is about to start driving. Shannon never got to dream about that...

Erin wore her Shannon sweatshirt to school this morning. I told her I hoped her friends could support her today. She told me she just hopes she doesn't cry in public.

Dan called me from Fargo this morning. Wanted to hear my voice today and remind me that we made great kids.

I've been thinking a lot about how different Erin is now than she was back then. Come to think of it, maybe so am I. We've both changed and grown from our experience. Erin is one of the most empathetic teenagers I've ever known. I guess that's the goal, to learn from life's lessons.

So, Dan will stay busy in North Dakota doing business. Erin has school, confirmation and volleyball today. Lots of interaction, but lots of friends along the way.

I plan to buck up and do some work, play tennis and hopefully walk the reservoir with my friend Kula this afternoon. Kula is fresh off chemo treatment #3.  Shit, life is hard sometimes...

But as we've learned, life does go on. You may not believe it's possible. So many people say, "I can't imagine losing a child. I don't know how you go on living."

Well, all I have to do is look at that picture of 10 year-old Erin, and then I know that I must go on. She deserves it.  And, Dan and I deserve to go on living, too. Yes, life changed forever on January 6, 2012. We can never go back to being the people we were before. We will be a little bit broken always. But, you learn to live with the loss. It becomes a part of you, and extra limb that sometimes helps you find your balance.

So, if you have a chance today, hold a good thought for my kids, please. Remember Shannon, and root for Erin...