Happy 2nd Birthday, Shaydon!

April 26, 2021

Birthdays for children you’ve lost are hard. You want to use that day to remember them, but in my case, so many of my memories of Shaydon are also really sad. It’s very tempting to just stay busy, distracted, and not think about it. In grief counseling, the overarching mantra is: There is no right or wrong way to grieve! So I thought hard about what I wanted to do. I decided for this 2nd birthday, I wanted to start a blog. A place to tell his story, and my story. A place where I could encourage other parents who’ve been through the same that they are not alone. A place where I could also reflect on how far I’ve come, and celebrate where I am today, while not forgetting where I was two years ago.

Shaydon was here for ten weeks, but those were ten weeks of purpose. He changed and impacted the life of so many, every single person he was able to interact with. And for that reason, I am choosing to celebrate his 2nd birthday by celebrating all the amazing things that happened because of him!

Prior to April 26, 2019, like many, I was going through the motions of life. Living each day, but not really living each day with purpose. Busy with work, parenting, school commitments, church commitments, friend commitments, dating, and just having time pass me by. On April 27, I had to stop. My whole world was focused on Shaydon and nothing else mattered. As everything else passed away, I came to really cherish and reflect what truly matters. After he passed, I again had to stop. He had been my primary focus the last 10 weeks, and I now had to reflect on what the rest of my life would look like. I knew I didn’t want to go back to where I was before he was born, and I didn’t want to stay where I was: feeling directionless and purposeless. And so with lots of prayer and lots of support from my family and friends, I set out to make my life better and make the world better, with Shaydon’s life as my constant home base reminding me to live each day with purpose. Below are a few things I’m celebrating today!

*Started attending therapy, and learned how to work through the grief and feelings of guilt and self-blame. Stayed consistent with it even though it is sometimes the hardest hour of my week.

*Became more intentional with spending time with my daughter, Leila, and not being too busy for her.

*Decided to apply for business school: Studied, tested, and placed in 80th quartile for GRE test. Completed MBA applications for Ross School of Business, Yale, Kellogg School of Management, Loyola and Depaul.

*Accepted into Ross and Kellogg full-time programs. Accepted into Loyola and Depaul part-time programs. Selected as Baumhart Scholar at Loyola

*Began coaching cheerleading again for young girls (5-12). This had always been a passion of mine, and something I missed

*Received promotion to Media Director.

*Became certified for short-term fostering through Safe Families. Successfully hosted 4 different young girls while parents got back on their feet.

*Learned how to fall in love again, this time in a way that honors God and brings me closer to Him

Happy 2nd Birthday Shaydon! I love you!

8 thoughts on “Happy 2nd Birthday, Shaydon!”

  1. Thank you for sharing this story! We all have to stop and realize what God has planned for us, isn’t always what we had in mind. Yet there is always a reasoning for everything and to trust in him always. Thank you for putting this in perspective. Happy 2nd Birthday little man!!!!

  2. Such a meaningful story . I will pray that your strength continues to grow and your path is directed . Hope to do a activity with you soon . Miss u much!!

  3. Happy 2nd birthday Shaydon from your aunt Kim! Shalane, you are such an amazing mother, BFF, and person overall. I know it took some time and courage to get to this place of comfortability to share your story with the rest of the world. I’m so proud of you! Love you 😘

  4. What a beautiful story , thank you for sharing your babies life with us! I’m in awe of how you have used what you have learned to help others and how it has given you more direction. How inspirational to hear! Bless him always and happy Birthday to him!!

  5. My dear sister in Christ. I hope and pray you find and achieve everything in life you want and go after. And know that life is beautiful and worth living. God will be with you in everything that you do. That is the God we serve and the God that is with you every step of the way. So be encouraged keep your heart and mind on his will and he will guide you. See you Sunday.

  6. This is and absolute beautiful beautiful way to celebrate your son’s life♥️♥️♥️. So many amazing things have been accomplished in his honor!!!

  7. Thank you for sharing your story <3 Shaydon was here for a reason, and God chose you to be his mother for a reason too. Praise the Lord for the courage he gave you to revitalize your life, and I'm praying for his comfort as you grieve.

  8. Shalane, this was an amazing testimony of what God can do!! He is bringing you through an extremely difficult time of grief. You are not only showing your strength but most importantly God’s strength in you…I’m so happy that you are sharing your story to be a blessing to others and that you are celebrating your sons life. I am celebrating with you! Happy birthday Shaydon, God’s little blessing…

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