Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Long Month

It is very sad how a month of summer can hold some precious dates that bring smiles, to a month of tears and sadness. God did not plan it this way, I am sure, but it hurts. The day my baby was born represents a beautiful moment in my life. One of those time stood still and a miracle took place, kind of moments. So beautiful and perfect and precious, such a blessing and gift from God.

The love of her life shared the same birth month. Just a few days in the month separates their date of birth. Jas is a few years older than Shan and I think their personalities were quite different in some respects. They complimented each other though. Each taught the other some life lessons. Shannon shared her silly side with Jas. Jason is one of the most loving, capable fathers I know. He loves so strongly and deeply with the kids, that I am sure they never doubt for a single moment-that they are loved and cherished. I often wonder, my heart aches for Jason. My Shannon knew him and loved him wholly and completely. Their smiles often reflected the other one's heart. You could see it and feel it.

They were married this month. This was a celebration of love and commitment. It was truly a marriage about love and family. I had never seen my daughter so happy as she was on that day. She and her Aunt Mary had re-worked her Mi-Mi's wedding dress, so it fit Shanny like a glove. She looked beautiful. She had picked flowers from her neighbor's yard to carry down the aisle.

Jason was sporting a seersucker suit, bought special just for the occasion. The kids all looked adorable and were swept up in the fun of putting on a big party! It was absolutely a beautiful, heartwarming and long-awaited evening. I was so happy to have been part of the planning and running and decorating-all the way up until 2 o'clock-just a few hours before the wedding took place.

Those memories seem a lifetime ago. I find myself studying her face on that day. In every picture, you will see pure joy. She had her fairy tale. Her family was now complete and whole. Her life was as it should be. Weeks and months went by, and the life of a mommy kicked in again, there was never a glitch, really-unless you count the night of their wedding, when MiMi had all three kids spend the night at her house.

This was how the kids liked it. All cozy with family, a simple evening on the couch with storybooks and reading time, will be caught on film or in picture, because those are the moments Jas and Shannon treasured most. The real moments of their lives, snuggling together, watching a movie with the kids, a trip to the zoo. You will see any number of photos for those events. Vacations, meant more time creating memories, and that is what their albums reflected. It didn't matter if they were visiting a 7th wonder of the world-to them, they had their own 3 wonders, and as a family they became a wonder all their own!

Did it always run smoothly? Oh, my gosh-no. There were days Jas would be running one child to soccer and Shannon would be on her way with another to baseball. Their plan was always to meet somewhere in the middle. Gussie was most often with Shannon. He rarely left her sight, and I remember those first agonizing days of pre-school. Soon after the first week or so, Gus wanted to see his friends at Miss Lynn's and another routine was established.A long month, filled with love.

It always amazed me how simple she seemed to make life appear. Shannon was very active with the kids' school, church, fundraising events for several organizations, and she took on special projects with her job. She really enjoyed her work, and that was her bonus! She did not complain about her hectic schedule or how crazy it might get, she just did-and always with a smile and sense of fulfillment. I wish I had told her more often, how proud of her I was, of the woman she had become and wonderful mother to her children, her love showed it everything-it was her own special kind of Shanny love!

As this month progresses, other challenges will arise-first day of school for the kids, parent meetings, and family events that Shannon should be sharing. Those days will pass with heartache and we will continue to survive in a world without her. Nothing is the same nor will it ever be again. So much pain and heartache for so many touched by her life. That makes for a very long month, indeed.

I will pray for peace and surrender to God's will. Acceptance and the ability to grow forward. That is what Shanny would want from all of us. Her love is just that strong. Blessings!