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!