Another anniversary - Jan. 6, 2020

8 years ago on this day, our world fractured when Shannon passed away. We had spent the previous 9 short months in a sprint, focused on Shanon and what she wanted and needed.

Then, she was gone and we had to begin to pick up the pieces.

Grief and loss is not linear. Of course, anniversaries like this are hard. We expect that. What you don't expect is a song on the radio that reminds you, Or a place or a memory that just pops into your head unexpectedly. Those are the moments that can blindside you and buckle you at the knees.

Dan and I put Erin on a plane back to college yesterday, and then watched an absolutely improbable win by the Minnesota Vikings. We couldn't help but think - Shannon would have loved that. She would have been screaming at the TV, right along with me and Dan.

At least that's what we imagine. Would Shannon still be a crazy fan? I assume so, but who knows if what Shannon was at 13 is who she'd be at 21.

And that's the thing. We never get to know what she would have been. As a mother, that's what hurts the most.

I've come to realize that being a mother is one of my favorite roles. And I don't get to do it as much any more. Erin is growing up and Shannon is gone. Yes, of course, Erin still needs me sometimes. But, more and more she handles things on her own and makes her own decisions. As it should be. But that doesn't mean I don't miss being needed.

So that's the emotion I feel today, after 8 years of living without Shannon. I miss what we didn't get to have. I miss getting more chances to be a mom to that  spunky, brown-eyed girl.

I'm grateful every day for Dan and Erin and our ability to weather the waves that don't stop. Today is another anniversary. Tomorrow is a new day.