Thanks to everyone who thought of me today and reached out. It’s gratifying to know how many remember. Today is Monday, June 24th, the fourth anniversary of Shayna’s passing. As I head out for my walk this morning, it’s a day very similar to that day four years ago when I did the same thing. I now know that as I walked, Shayna was in her bed, spirit already gone from her body, and I wonder how I could have taken that walk without knowing, without somehow sensing that she had slipped away.
I’ve received cards, calls, messages from many people. People continue to remember and honor Shayna and I am proud and humbled at the same time. Many of the parents I know say their families and friends don’t acknowledge these days and they feel alone because of it. They are not alone in this regard, not a single biological family remember has reached out to me. My family doesn’t read my blog. They don’t listen to my podcast. They don’t even comment on my Facebook posts. This isn’t uncommon. We have to find our new tribe. We have to focus not on the friends we have lost and the family that has either forgotten or finds it too uncomfortable to reach out. I choose to concentrate on the blessing of my new friends, my new non-biological family like the members of Helping Parents Heal and Voice of Our Angels.
I try to tell myself that the 24th of June is a day like any other day. It’s just one of three hundred and sixty-five on the calendar every year. Ty has put it on the calendar this year. I don’t need to have it on the calendar. I know June 24th as well as I know January 13th, the day Shayna joined us on the planet.
Last night as we were heading off to bed, Ty said to set an intention to have a dream of Shayna, a sign that she’s still here with us. I don’t think any of us had a dream with Shayna in it. But, I had two dreams that were heavily influenced by her.
In the first dream, Jay Leno is at our house interviewing us. For those of you who are a little younger, Jay Leno had a late night talk show, like Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Fallon. Jay was asking us about Shayna and I remember him saying, “It’s so great that you keep her memory alive.” I replied, “It’s not just her memory that’s alive, Jay. Shayna is still right here with us.” He said, “Well, it’s cool that you believe that.” And, I came right back with, “I don’t just believe, I know. Shayna existed before this universe began and she will exist after the universe stops. I don’t know if the universe will exist another day or another trillion billion years. But, I know that consciousness is fundamental and precedes the material, as Max Planck said over 100 years ago.”
The scene shifts and I’m in a large room sitting at a soundboard like in a studio. I’m preparing for a radio broadcast. Someone walks up with a t-shirt that says “Anon Bible College”. It’s a misspelling of Aenon Bible College, a college co-founded by my grandfather, in 1940. When I wake up, I remember that my father and my uncle used to man the sound booth on Sunday mornings, recording Pop’s sermons for broadcast and I think of how, due to Shayna’s passing, I’m following in his footsteps with the launch of the podcast.
Thursday and Friday of last week I recorded two interviews for my podcast. Friday, I spent three hours with Sandra Champlain, one of the first people I listened to after Shayna’s passing. Two hours were me sitting in on a demonstration of mediumship. The third hour was me being interviewed for her show. I’m on We Don’t Die as a guest! Over the course of the past few days I’ve listened to podcasts with Susanne Wilson, Suzanne Giesemann, and Elizabeth Boisson, all Sandra’s guests and all people I know very well now and I think of everything that had to happen over the last four years to bring me to this point.
The image that headlines this post is what I think of when I think of Shayna. She was two years old when I snapped this. I walked in to see her making this phenomenal tower. We knew the first day with us she was going to be special, determined, focused, and indomitable. The nurses at the hospital told us. We had no idea we’d only have 15 years with her here, physically. We knew her life would have an everlasting impact. We did not know how.
As I reflect today, four years after her transition, I am awed by how her ripples continue to spread.
The year Shayna passed, someone put purple bows on the stop signs in the neighborhood. By the first angelversary date, the ribbons had become tattered and faded. Then on June 24, 2016, they were replaced. They were replaced again in 2017 and 2018. One year, I know they will not be replaced. Maybe this will be the year. As I leave the neighborhood, before seven AM, the old ribbons are still there. That’s OK. Then, as I’m coming home, around 8:30 AM, I see this sight.
There is a group of girls that played a big role in Shayna’s life. They call themselves the Shayna Six. They graduated from high school last year. They are off at various colleges and in the military. They’ve made it a tradition to come by the house on her angel date. Again, I know one year this will stop. But, yesterday, Taylor comes by to pay her respects. She apologizes that she can’t come on the anniversary day. But, she has to be back in Columbus on Monday. This evening, the other five come by and spend over two hours at the kitchen table talking to Ty and Kayla, telling stories about Shayna and wondering where she’d be right now had she stayed with us.
As happens so often, this morning a song came to mind as I thought about this day. After all, it’s just another day, day number 1461 without her to be precise.
It’s another milestone along the road Home. I am proud of Tywana, and Kayla for how far we have all come with our little angel leading the way back. It’s not just another day. Each of these milestones shows just how far we have come. They are times to reflect and to celebrate our resilience.
When you come home
I breathe a little faster
Every time we’re together
It’d never be the same (it’d never be the same)
If you’re not here
How can you stay away (how can you stay away)
Away so long
Why can’t we stay together
Give me a reason
Give me a reason
I, I don’t wanna say it
I don’t wanna find another way
To make it through the day without you
I, I can’t resist
Try to find exactly what I missed
It’s just another day without you
It’s just another day oh