Shannon and Me – March 2002


Here are my beautiful wife Shannon and me back on March 22, 2002. I’m not sure, but it looks like we’re standing in front of our camping trailer. Which is a bit strange, because we don’t look like we’re dressed and groomed for camping. Shannon always looked wonderful, but she looks especially beautiful in this photo, doesn’t she?

We had another pleasant day today. Besides just hanging around, I went upstairs with Katie and Melissa and we went through Shannon’s personal things. I gave Katie all of Shannon’s jewelry, per Shannon’s request, and they both received a few other clothing items and other things they wanted. I kept Shannon’s wedding rings. The rest of her clothes and personal things went into boxes. I’m not ready to let things go yet and I don’t know when I will be, so I’m keeping everything in boxes for now. I’ve reached out to Shannon’s sisters to see if there’s anything I can share with them and I still need to see if Mark, Andy, and Paul would like anything to remember her by.

Of course, many more of Shannon’s personal things are everywhere in the house, so I’ll be finding them and trying to decide what to do with them for quite some time. It both breaks my heart and makes me feel so, so close to her.

The closet is half empty now, which is also a heartbreak. I’m writing this in bed and the closet door is open and I can see at least a part of the void. I need to fill it before long. Maybe I’ll move some things from the closet in the spare bedroom. Maybe I’ll spread my clothes and personal things out a bit. I can’t fill the incomprehensible void in my heart, but I can at least make the house look populated.

It occurred to me today or yesterday that I’m living in Shannon’s house. I need to (and will) take ownership of it eventually and be responsible for making decisions on what goes where, when it’s time to get rid of things and change things around, and of course keeping everything clean and in good repair. I’m grateful to have a wonderful cleaning service for some of that last part, but I dread making design decisions. I don’t know how and I worry that any effort I make will just turn things from beautiful to ugly, from tasteful to tasteless. The place is so nicely put together right now that Shannon has given me a great head start, of course. I just need to finish painting the stairwell and bathrooms (using paint she already bought, by the way). I really don’t think it needs anything else. But the time will come when things need to be replaced or updated. Then what?

Another troubling thought of the day: did I give Shannon a sufficiently comfortable life? I’m sure I could have done better. I could have sacrificed more so she could have nice things. She has told me repeatedly that she loved her life and felt like we lived very well. But couldn’t I have done more to make her comfortable? Answer: of course. So many regrets. But I’m once again grateful for the year we’ve had together to talk about things like this. Not all that many people get such a chance to apologize for wrongs and give forgiveness for slights.

Paul, Melissa, and Andy are here for just one more day. I’ll miss them when they’re gone. Their presence has been a great comfort to me and I know it was a comfort to Shannon. They’re managing their loss so incredibly well. They give me great hope. They’ve all managed to change their return flights to depart from Las Vegas instead of Los Angeles, as we originally planned to be there for much longer. That’ll make for a shorter day for me on Saturday, but I was kind of looking forward to the drive over there together and the drive back on my own. This will be much more practical, though.

We went to a Brazilian steak restaurant for dinner tonight to spend the Christmas money we received from my mother and Shannon’s dad. We ended up spending substantially more than  our budget, but we had a great time together and it was worth it. There were eight of us! What a wonderful family I have.

Speaking of which, did I mention that Katie and Cliff told me a night or two ago that they’re engaged? I’m so excited for them both! We’ve loved Cliff for a long time and have considered him a family for a long time, of course. But now it will be official. I think the wedding is scheduled for a year or two in the future, so there’s no rush to get ready right now. Congratulations, Katie and Cliff.

And that’s it for tonight. The blog will be returning to normal over the coming days as my heart and mind return back to normal again. I’m tempted to feel that it would be a betrayal of Shannon’s memory for me to start living normally again, but I know that’s exactly what she wanted for me. So I’ll do my best to do that.

See you tomorrow.

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