It’s been eight years since Shayna passed into the next life. I would have never believed I’d still be here on the planet, let alone doing the things I am doing to honor her and carry on her legacy. Friends and family reached out and sent their well wishes. I think from henceforth, this day will be known simply as Shayna Day.
The Best Day Ever Foundation had a bourbon tour planned for that day. It was a VIP tour, and I was supposed to be one of the hosts. But Kayla and Tywana wanted to do something more private. So, we decided to head up to Yellow Springs for a day of shopping. Shopping versus bourbon tasting. Which do you think I wanted to do? But I saw where this was headed. As the only male in the house, I’m used to being outvoted. We would be going shopping.
Today, there are fresh purple ribbons on the stop signs in the neighborhood. We’re blessed that eight years after her passing, when Shayna would presumably have already graduated from college, people still remember her. The ribbons are on stop signs for blocks from our house.
I woke up early and took my six-mile hike. I might not have done that if I knew what lay in store for me. But the day was bittersweet for me, and I needed that alone time in the morning. I started my walk listening to Evanescence, the album I played on a loop the first summer Shayna was gone. Amy Lee has perfectly captured the longing to be Home and how much we miss those who have gone before us. I started the walk listening to Swimming Home.
By the time I made the halfway point of the walk, I felt I had gotten the sadness out enough. So, I switched to more upbeat music to celebrate, as Amy says, “As much as it hurts, ain’t it wonderful to feel.” in The End Of The Dream. I finished the walk listening to Macklemore’s Glorious, which set me up to face the day.
Kayla’s boyfriend generously provided breakfast which she brought over. There were some Asian pork buns and a couple of sweet treats. We loaded up on food and hopped in the car for the 45-minute trip to the sleepy little hippy town of Yellow Springs, home of Dave Chapelle.
As we pulled into town, I noticed both sides of the street lined with cars. There were people on foot, and nearly everyone was dressed colorfully. Then, I saw the banner. It was Pride Day. The place was packed. Tywana said it would be an adventure. I reminded her, I don’t like adventures.
On the way up, she discovered a park with a waterfall. She and Kayla wanted to start there. Thankfully, it was a cool day for late June. We pulled into the park, found a parking spot, and started on the trail, which had a lot more elevation change than we expected in a short mile-and-a-half loop. We discovered a beaver dam, the first any of us had ever seen. It was massive and made for an interesting conversation.
We quickly had enough of hiking. My thighs were burning, climbing the stone-carved stairs since I had already put in approximately 11,000 steps.
We walked to town to mingle with the masses. There were several craft shops, a CBD store, restaurants, bars, food trucks, street vendors, and the whole deal. We found an old tavern to have a beer, did a little more shopping, and decided to call it a day for Yellow Springs.
The restaurants in Yellow Springs had over an hour’s wait for lunch. We headed back home after a quick stop at Wendy’s for a snack.
We rested at home for a while and did our annual trek to Pies and Pints. We have to have pizza and dessert on Shayna’s Day. I picked up a key lime pie at Costco on Friday.
We watched a movie, and Kayla spent the night. Another year survived, another year we thrived, and another year closer to Home.