Shayna’s Girl Scout troop leader has called and wants to meet with Ty and me. She says they have an idea for how to commemorate Shayna. When she comes I sit in the other room, within earshot, but I let her and Ty discuss it. I hope Sarah doesn’t think I am being rude, but sometimes the commemorations of Shayna are just too much. I know intellectually that she is gone, but the memorials reinforcing the idea that she is no longer here are sometimes hard to bear. I love that people feel driven to do them though. I love that people appreciate just how wonderful Shayna was while she was here. Billy Joel wrote “Only the Good Die Young”. Well, Shayna was great.
The troop’s idea is for the girls to work on Shayna’s Gold Award project. To earn the Gold Award the girls have to come up with a project and execute on it. It has to benefit the community and be made an on-going thing. The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Shayna had already gotten her Silver Award and was well on her way to the Gold. In her troop she was the furthest along on her project and it was a great one that showed her passions. She wanted to bring rescue animals to the high school during finals week so that the kids could play with puppies and kittens and de-stress. Shayna desperately wanted to volunteer at the animal shelter where Kayla had volunteered, but you had to be 16 to work there. Shayna even asked us to lie about her age so she could work there early. She was so excited about her Gold Award that she took the summer off of volunteering at the zoo to work on the Gold Award.
The girls working on Shayna’s project is a lovely way to honor her. Hearing Sarah talk about just how special Shayna was, her intelligence, her quiet confidence, the way she put others at ease is a mixed blessing. People want to give us credit for Shayna’s drive, for her poise, for her compassion, even for her beauty, but it’s not false humility to say that was all Shayna. Anyone who has more than one child should realize we do very little to shape their personalities. Shayna was who Shayna was born to be. She came into the world Shayna. We tried to nurture what was already there. We were blessed with two perfect daughters. Hearing other praise Shayna makes us realize all the more how blessed we were to share 15 years with her, but it also makes us realize just how much we lost when she was taken from us, especially so suddenly without as much as the chance to say good-bye.
I’m feeling pretty low when we go to bed. Thoughts of Shayna and what I’m missing are dancing in my head, but I’ve learned how to push them aside and fall asleep which I do pretty easily. I have lovely dreams. In one dream, Kayla and Shayna and I are lying on the couch. They are both on top of me. I love the physics of the dream world. Kayla is 6′1″ and Shayna is 5′10″ but it’s not at all uncomfortable. We are just talking and having a great time when I realize Shayna is dead and shouldn’t be here. I reach out to kiss her cheek with the expectation I will wake up, but this time I don’t. I get to plant several lovely kisses on her before the dream ends. Later, in another dream, Shayna is sitting on my lap again. This time she’s around 3-4 years old. Again, I realize she shouldn’t be here, but she doesn’t disappear. We have a conversation, I can’t recall about what, but at some point she says “You can ask me any question you want.” In the dream state, I don’t really know what she means by this so I don’t ask anything profound.
I wake up in my dark room, under the warm covers and I bask in the feeling of being in bed. It’s like being in the womb. It’s warm, dark, cozy. There is nothing out there to fear. I have everything I need in this moment. The world is a field of infinite possibilities. I even think I can pretend Shayna is down the hall sleeping and, like Shroedinger’s cat I don’t know that she’s not until I open the door to her bedroom. I love sleeping. I love these twilight moments between the real world and my dream world. I enjoy it while I can. Morning will come soon enough and I’ll have to face the “real world” one more time.