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April 2012

April 6 ~ Thank you

I realized yesterday that April 5 and May 1 are the two most important days in my life.  Each year I move into spring with longing, anticipation,  joy, and  that whispered shadow that I have embraced as part of my forever.

When we experience something incredible, be it incredibly sad or incredibly wonderful, it is felt and held in every cell.  Days come and go, months, years, even decades  but the memory is held, passed to each new cell by the worn ones, becoming a part of who we are. 

I don't consciously dread or avoid Shannon's birthday and Heaven day.  I embrace them and claim them whole heartedly as my month to feel as deeply as I can.  To love and mourn and miss and celebrate and remember.  Some days I feel numb.  Some days I want to scream.  Some days I want to open the flood gates and release the tears that stay tucked away in deference to a life that wants my undivided attention.  Some days I just "leak" a little and smile and remember small hands and belly laughs and good night smooches and philosophical debates and iced tea in a hammock that miraculously held us both. 

If you haven't been there, you can't really understand.  That's okay.   You might believe that "time heals all wounds" or that after fourteen years "it's time to move on".  Neither is true.  We live with what we cannot change and hopefully summon enough courage and grace to live a life that is a testament to love's power to lift us .  But we live with a wound that truly never heals.   I found a quote once, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer,  "If we are strong enough to be weak enough, we are given a wound that never heals. It’s the gift that keeps the heart open."  It is true and although some days I fail miserably, most days, my heart is open and Shannon is there.

Yesterday, you remembered with me.   Some of you grew up with Shannon.  Some of you grew up with me.  Some of you never knew either of us before but have found it in your hearts to love us both.  All of you celebrated Shannon's life with me yesterday and I don't have words to adequately express my appreciation.

The new photos are in the garden.  My neighbors and their children sat with us.  There were bunny cupcakes and lemonade, bubbles and balloons.  The wind was gentle and the sun was warm and our conversations danced between protecting two year olds from bridge crossings, sending notes to Heaven by balloon, buttercups under the chin, dark beer vs. light and the precious gift of sleeping babies. 

Of course we missed those not visibly present but there was an undeniable knowing that we were in the presence of Angels.

Lori had lunch with me at Sammy T's, Shannon's favorite lunch spot... and one of the few favorite places that has stood the test of time... Sammy's and Jabberwocky !  So grateful.

So, we move into another day, together.  There is comfort in knowing that we stay connected and as we share our joys and our sadness, one multiplied and the other lessened by that sharing, we are moving together.

Thank you ... for accepting me where I am, understanding without explanation and for always holding on to the memories that we share.

April 5 ~ My most precious gift

                 ShanDadApril 5, 1998

Thank you for 'me'.

Thank you for "C of the D"

Thank you for a pleasant day.

Thank you for beautiful weather.

Thank you for limitless possibilities."




To be honest... I want more than almost anything to be planning a 37th birthday party.  I would like to be frantically cleaning house, chasing down favorite recipes, picking up a cake from Paul's, reassuring myself that one piece of cake won't hurt any of  us, arranging flowers, planting pansies, and wrapping gifts.  I want to pick up the phone and hear Shannon's voice trying to convince me that she doesn't want any fuss.  I want life to be the way I had planned.  The way that was comfortable and happy and gentle.  I want to wrap my arms around my 37 year old daughter and thank her for being the most precious gift I have ever received.

We can't always have what we want most.


BUT... we find ways to allow love to lift us....carry us, perhaps, and we watch for signs of those limitless possibilities. 

Today I will hold Shannon as close as I can. I will remember that the afternoon sky is full of stars, even if I can't see them.   I will appreciate each invisible breath.  I will float on the unseen fragrance of  lilacs blooming in Shannon's garden and smile at the tree frog's song drifting from some hidden perch and be reminded that although I can't see her with my eyes, my heart won't doubt that she is with me.

My wish is that on this day, we can each extend a kindness... to a friend, a stranger or to ourselves.  A moment of gentleness extended and embraced and sent as a gift to Shannon. 

 We will probably have cake, traditions are good, we will probably send notes to Heaven and we will wrap our hearts and our arms around each other.... so very grateful for every precious moment.



Happy Birthday my sweet Angel.  You taught me more about love and life and courage and gratitude in your short life than I could have ever hoped to learn alone....and I'm still learning !

Thank you for filling my life.  Thank you for choosing me to be your Mom. Thank you for trusting me enough to follow your own path.  Thank you for magical moments and long talks and longer hugs.  Thank you for always being there....even now.

I will probably cry some today... I miss you, but I love you more so try not to fret. 

I will watch for signs.  I will light the tree and I will thank God with all my heart for you !

I love you my Shannon, Happy Birthday.