I think one thing parents who lose a child must have in common is, in addition to missing just their presence on a daily basis, we have to deal with the lost potential. When a parent looks at a child, we see not only what she is now but what she will become. When she leaves her body still a child that all seems to go away with her. We feel cheated. Mothers look forward to their daughters’ weddings. Sisters look forward to having her be the aunt of your own child. Fathers look forward to watching her graduate and grow into a young woman and be successful. And with Shayna the sky was the limit. Shayna was smart, beautiful, talented in science, art and in expressing herself through her writing. She was well liked and looked up by her peers. Shayna had a quick wit with a tongue that could cut you (but oh so kindly), but she was also empathetic and loved to help people She had a big heart- always ready to volunteer and help out. Shayna was my Buckeye, born in Ohio- like me. And Shayna wanted to continue the family tradition by going to Ohio State. She was 16th in her class of over 600. She was a teacher’s favorite. Shayna was a leader on both her volleyball and basketball teams, loved by her coaches. So much potential. Vast.
So, the last few ten months have been a series of recognizing “This isn’t going to happen. That’s not going to happen.” Just over and over it hits you just how much life changes in an instant. June 24th of last year started out as a normal day. By noon, my life would never be the same again. However, as I make this paradigm shift I have been working on, I am internalizing the fact that Shayna has not left us. We can’t detect her as easily as we could. But, both literally and figuratively Shayna is still with us. This week we will award the first scholarship in her name. Shayna’s money went to help with Victoria’s House, so a bit of Shayna will live on there. Several of Shayna’s friends have told us how Shayna is still inspiring them (and some of them she is visiting in dreams). Shayna continues to push Ty and me forward as we want to make sure she is remembered and her legacy is honored. Shayna was a better writer than I am and I feel a lot of my ideas for writing come from Shayna as she continues to guide me on the path I need to follow.
I think I posted about this at the time, but it’s worth repeating now, these many months later. Not long after Shayna’s transition I was talking to a friend who was giving me some spiritual guidance at the time. We were talking about Shayna’s potential and I was questioning why God would take one of his best players off the field. If we’re here to help the planet. If advanced souls like Shayna are here to lead and to serve and to help why take someone with so much potential off the field. What my friend said to me was profound. A little context, he’s Belgian. He said “I don’t know much about baseball, but you know how when a player is playing in the minor leagues and he’s doing really well. Sometimes he gets called up to the majors.” At the time I really didn’t want to hear that. Now, I’m a little better able to accept it. Shayna is still doing her thing, she’s just not doing it in the body right now. We are a team working together and I need to be here for now. Her potential wasn’t squandered. In fact, maybe it was actually expanded.