Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Day It All Began

Just began a post at the computer and the phone rings. This is 7:06 in the a.m. A dear friend calls to remind me I am in her thoughts more than usual today, she remembers. Moments like these make this journey bearable. You will begin to accept the thoughtful wishes and prayers with more of an open heart as you get into your walk, at least for me it took a little time. At first, I couldn't really feel the love that went with the words of condolence or care-they were just words that rang a little empty because I was in so much pain. Now, I can take the expressions of remembrance and thoughtfulness into my heart and actually feel them.

Shanny hadn't been feeling well, it was typical Missouri weather and bronchial stuff was crazy. Jason had called me from the ER and asked me to come up, there had been some tests, and she wasn't feeling well, and she wanted me there. After a breathing treatment, Shanny experienced a heaviness in her chest. An EKG came back irregular which prompted the doctor to keep her for more testing. What followed is my almost 72 hour nightmare, that has no end.

As a mom, my job is to fix..whether it's a bruised knee, or a broken heart, that's what a mom does. So, when Shanny asked me about these tests, I have no medical background, but I trusted the doctor to know what to do. I believed that if the test was ordered, it was ordered for a reason, but Shannon had a fear of part of the test and she needed answers. Much of that night, we talked, I held her hand and then when I tried to sleep in the chair, Shanny wrote. I know now she was writing love letters to her kids, but I didn't know then. I just recall, waking up for a moment or two and seeing her in bed, writing and I'd drift off again.

This is where my heart begins to beat fast and my head hurts, so I stop typing. Many hours have gone by, and I take my seat at the computer to begin again-and I ask myself why? Why am I forcing myself to relive those last days? Why do I need to go through like some tribute to Shanny, each year, as if the re-telling of it will change the outcome? Is it because I think I should have told her not to take the test? Do I somehow feel responsible for the fatal error that caused her death? Is my guilt driving me to try and change the happenings of those final days? I am choosing to remember the beauty in the moments I shared with her those days and nights.

All that matters are those moments of love and warmth and comfort we shared. The life my daughter lived cannot be summed up in those few days. Her life was so full of love and giving and family. She lived each day fully and richly. She gave of her many talents and left this world a far better place by being in it. So, I am blessed to have called her daughter.

Those last days were like a nightmare, but it will not rob me of the joy that Shannon brought to my life and this world. Shannon was a beautiful woman of strength and courage, a daughter I could not have been more proud, a great wife, loving mommy, terrific sister, fantastic friend and blessing to those that knew her. The
real day it all began was August 27, 1976-the day I became "mom."

And for the next 34, almost 35 years, I had been blessed over and over with lots of love and craziness! I am blessed with knowing God entrusted her to me, to watch over and then to see blossom into this incredible woman. Shanny turned this world on with her giving nature, her ability to draw people into a cause and make things happen! She loved full force-her life, her children, her family, and she lived her faith. She loved out loud.

While I am on this hope journey, I am taking time to smell the flowers. Shannon loved to garden. I will get better at remembering the good things and letting go of the pain, I know it takes time. Prayer always helps. Sometimes, in the middle of the day-a simple, God, I need a little strength...gets me through. He listens and He comforts.

Because we know the power of prayer and faith as a mother grieves.