Anyway, getting back to my memory-
I am pulling out the decorations of smiles and school performances, early childhood haircuts, and then came her time as big sister. Magic happens when a child becomes a sibling. Shannon began to operate in a different mode. She was caregiver, mommy, sissy and protector all rolled into one! And as the years went by she grew into a feisty teenager who knew everything just like I had done so many years before her. We spent some years at odds with one another. I wish I could erase those years now and take back all the silly arguments and nasty things I'd said out of pride and hurt. None of it matters and it only served to rob me of precious time with my daughter.
As a young woman, Shannon was quite amazing at her job as a Nanny. She finished college, got her degree and started to climb the ladder of keep smiling and work harder! Shanny loved who she was working with though. She taught me a lot about finding a happy place when I was at work. She could really calm me down when I was upset about something. I think she could have been a great counselor of sorts, or maybe I just thought she was brilliant. Sometimes, a little too big for her britches, but always brilliant!
Shannon always believed in her own musical abilities. To those of us that knew her, this was comical, as she could not carry a tune in a bucket. Again, just like her mother. But she always gave every song a new twist!
In church, Shanny would look up at me and smile as she sang and even though she was off-key, I imagine the Good Lord smiling at her passion and enthusiasm. We giggled and we hugged, she'd lay her head on my shoulder. I feel God let us make up for a lot of lost time in St. Luke's on Sunday's. My sweet little girl, all grown up into a beautiful woman, mother and wife, sister, friend and someone who could touch your heart with her smile.
Just as Shannon carefully decorated her tree at Christmas with ornaments of gold, silver, red and blue. Each tied to a memory, from someone special-she would carefully unwrap each one-take a moment to decide just where to place it on the tree and once hung, she would step back to make sure it was hung in just the right spot. She loved this time of year, the hustle and bustle, the carols, the mad shopping trips, and family gatherings.
This is how I am celebrating Christmas with Shannon this year-in my heart. I am decorating my tree with memories, stringing garland of hugs and kisses, and Shannon will be my angel on top of my tree! And of course, I will continue to pray because I know the power of prayer and faith as a mother grieves.