Friday May 6, 2016

It's been a while since I had the chance to write. Much of life is the same - work, golf, etc. My full time job really started this week, even though my "official" start date is Monday, May 9th.  I am spending about 85% of my time on writing and producing for Mayo Clinic Radio.

On my first day, we had the busiest/craziest recording session ever. Not even joking. Three guests, four segments, re-writing scripts on the fly, and a photo shoot happening while we recorded. Talk about baptism by fire!

I am working early mornings and late nights so I can take time off in the afternoon to coach golf and attend Erin's meets when possible. Yesterday was a gorgeous day and I got out there and walked Northern Hills while Erin played. She's having a really good season, with a few hiccups along the way. As they say, that's golf.

Dan hasn't been able to see Erin golf as much this spring, but he's got a few dates on the calendar in the coming weeks. He's been selling - which is good - but that means follow up appointments and implementations and that means travel. Every week I get asked, "Where's Dan?" If you guess Wisconsin or the Dakotas, you are probably correct.

So, we are clicking along and life is moving quickly. The approaching end of the school year is invading my thoughts. Each day, as I go to the mailbox, there they are - graduation announcements and invites to open houses.

These are Shannon's friends and classmates. This is a big deal in their lives. When your kid starts kindergarten, you say "Here is the class of 2016". I never thought that Shannon wouldn't get there...

While on one level, it's incredibly painful, on another level it feels like connection. When Shannon passed, her friends didn't forget her - or us. They smile and stop to chat when they see us. In some small way it's a connection to Shannon. We see these kids who have developed into young adults and if we close our eyes and imagine, just for a second we can think about what Shannon might be like now.

Last week the seniors had a day where they declared their college choices by wearing sweatshirts or t-shirts representing their school of choice. It was fun to see, but it hurt, too. It made me think back to when Shannon was about 9 years old. Somehow we were talking about college, and she declared she would either go to RCTC so she could live at home, or go to community college in Brainerd so she could live at the cabin!

I'll also never forget the day we told Shannon about the gravity of her diagnosis. One of the first things she said was "I'm not going to get to go to college."

These stories are reminders that Shannon's world never got to be big, because she left us way too soon. Maybe that's partly why Erin loves to travel and wants to go to school in a big city.

So, we will do our best to celebrate with these kids as they finish their high school careers. They are excited for the next stage in life. We are happy for them. Shannon would be, too...