Today starts, as usual, with a good cry before I get out of bed. Every day I wake up and the first thing on my mind is Shayna. That’s not a bad thing. I lie there thinking about her until some disturbing thought hits though- like I’ll never hear her ringtone again. Will I forget the sound of her voice? It’s as if I have to have that shock to bring me into the reality that not all is right with the world. Something is drastically wrong. The unreality of it all still is there, lessening, but with her being taken so suddenly my mind still hasn’t grasped it. I have to relieve the moments of finding her not breathing, being at the hospital, hearing the doctor say the words, the funeral arrangements, the celebration. Maybe one day I’ll be able to accept this without going through all of that, but for now my mind has to do this little replay for my heart, until my heart says “Yes, she’s really gone. We’re not going to see her today.”
I make my way out of bed, but starting my workout is tough today. I turn to friends for inspiration. I post on Facebook that I’m having a tough time and in a matter of minutes, friends rally around and encourage me to hit the “Play” button. I start my day with T25, an exercise routine that gets me sweaty and gets my heart going. I’m going to do all I can to make my body feel good in spite of the fact it wants to resist. I get through T25 glad that I hit Play. I report back to my friends “We did it.” Time to get to work.
Today is pretty productive. I’m getting work done. I posted about my looking for any signs of hope and about how I think Shayna had a mission that was a short one. The daughter of a friend messages me. She has wanted to tell me something but was afraid of invading my space or offending my religious sensibilities. She wants to talk. I give her my number and she delivers a message to me of hope and of comfort. I am so glad I am journaling all of this. Some have told that I’m helping others. That is a good thing. What they don’t realize is how much this is helping me. And people reading it are getting permission to say things they were scared to say to us and those things are getting us through.
Today is not a great day for Ty. She tells me Wednesdays are hard. Today is the three week anniversary of Shayna’s passing. I return from my 4.5 mile walk to find Ty in Shayna’s room. Shayna’s room gives her peace and she can feel Shayna’s presence there. No wonder since the girl practically lived there the past couple of years. That was Shayna’s retreat. I join Ty in her room where I find her lying across Shayna’s bed flipping through an amazing scrap book put together by the volleyball team. I try to tell Ty the story Gini has told me, but I’m having trouble concentrating. Every where I look I see Shayna and another story kicks off in my head. Shayna’s room is a magical place. She still has all her Care Bears and her stuffed penguins, but she was starting to transform it. It’s the room of a little girl who was still holding on to that, but starting to become an adult. She had all brand new furniture that she and I put together. I look up and I see the fancy mirrors she got from IKEA and I recall how she took the lead in putting them up and we finished the job together. Her jewelry has been displayed in just the right way. Her suitcase lays on the floor, still full from the last volleyball tournament. Ty had told her to unpack before she went to the pool on that last Monday and, in typical Shayna fashion, she had gone without doing it. Her volleyball bag is still there. All of these things. All of her prized possessions. All of it still here. How can she be gone? How can her stuff be here and she’s somewhere else?
Kayla joins us. We sit around in Shayna’s room thinking about the good times we had with her. We joke about how upset she would be because you didn’t invade Shayna’s space without permission. God, how we miss her, but it’s not a sad time. We sit in her presence and we celebrate her.
Ty and I take another walk. 2.5 miles this time. We talk about the unfairness of it all. We discuss the suddenness. We are helping each other accept this as reality. We reassure ourselves that while every day is one day more removed from the memory of our precious Shayna, we will keep those memories alive and each day is one day closer to our reunion. We know we have to mourn. And mourn we will, but we will not become our grief. We will not make that our identity. We will do what we need to do. We will always, always, always hold Shayna near, but we will go on living while we do.
We end the night watching a little TV. There is very little that doesn’t remind me of Shayna. There is a 30-something woman who has a great relationship with her father and they make a daddy-daughter date. I flash back to the daddy-daughter date I had with Shayna a couple of years ago when I took her to a dance. And, I flash forward to the daddy-daughter date we will never have when she is a young woman. It’s all I can do to hold back the tears.
We retire for the evening. Ty’s feeling a little better. We congratulate ourselves on making it through another day. One more Wednesday in the books. One more day closer to that day when we see our baby again.