Yesterday was Shayna’s third angel day. It was rougher than I expected. It was much rougher than I expected. The grief was as raw as it was that first week. It took me by total surprise. I was hoping it would be merely another day, a milestone I would wave at as I passed by. It was not. I’m not sure if it was all of the reminders by friends and neighbors. Tywana and I had a couple of hundred contacts, no exaggeration. Friends pinged us on Facebook, by text, on Messenger. It was incredibly gratifying knowing people were thinking of us, but the flip side was each message was a reminder that I was supposed to feel bad on this day. We got a call from Elizabeth Boisson, co-founder of Helping Parents Heal who has become a dear friend. Shayna drops in on Suzanne Giesemann (again- of course). We got a text from her. The contacts are literally too numerous to mention.
On my walk, I realized the day was going to be a lot more emotional than I had anticipated. I had the same feeling I had had a couple of weeks after Shayna passed. We were on a long weekend at Put-In-Bay. I got up early, prayed to Shayna for a sign, a specific sign, a dime and I took a walk. I can remember that walk like it was yesterday. And, I got the dime a couple of hours later (under the seat of a shuttle we were taking to the ferry). I thought maybe Shayna could do it again. So, I prayed for a dime on my walk. It’s a 7-mile walk. If there wasn’t a dime already on the road, she had an hour and a half to produce one. I scanned the ground as I walked. I’ve found lots of change on the ground on this walk. I fully expected to find a dime. Halfway through the walk, I spot the penny I’ve been seeing for a couple of weeks. As I climb the porch steps back home, I expect to find a dime on the porch. This is the last chance. There’s no dime though. Oh well.
While Tywana and I spent the day in the house together, I think each of us needed solitude. I didn’t see much of her. She did her thing- reading, meditating, whatever. And, she had to run some errands for her mother. I didn’t leave the house except for my walk and to take the dogs out. Tywana floated the idea of going to church. I was not up for shedding tears in front of a bunch of people, so I was relieved when I got home, and she said she was going for a bike ride instead.
I watched a lot of World Cup. Between matches, I did some work for the church and for Helping Parents Heal. I was looking for anything to make the time pass. The day dragged on and on. Two soccer matches were done. I got my work for the church and Helping Parents Heal done. I turned on some more mindless TV to make the time pass.
Neither of us had planned dinner. We decided to go out for fast food Chinese. Shayna’s friends call. They want to come over. They’ve been fantastic coming over on her angel dates and birthdays. Tywana decided to meet them for ice cream next week instead.
Finally, the sun went down. The day was almost over. We turned on the BET Awards and watched for a while. At 10:30 I announced I’m ready for bed. I put in my effort. I really wanted to go to bed around 4 PM. I step out on the deck to take the dogs out for the final time of the night and I spot a praying mantis, on the post of the deck railing. I don’t see many praying mantises. Coincidentally (or not), a few hours ago a friend has taken a picture of a praying mantis, very small- almost precisely the size of this one, on the back of her hand. She’s posted the photo to Facebook, and I commented about the time hundreds of them hatched from underneath our fire pit, and I was fascinated by watching these tiny captivating creatures. Here is one on the deck, just a few hours later. Thank you, Shayna. I knew you wouldn’t forget my sign.
Usually, the Praying Mantis makes an appearance when we’ve flooded our lives with so much business, activity, or chaos that we can no longer hear the still small voice within us. Taking a step back and some simple meditation would be in order here because the external din we’ve created needs to be quieted so that we can come back to our own truth. She will always come to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives.