Walking back into Shannon’s House- Step towards Healing

I’ve been putting off this post for a month…
I recently was back home in atlanta and was able to visit my best friend, Shannon’s, children.
The estranged father of her children shot her during a custody exchange in a bank parking lot. the horrific details and what followed I don’t wish to write out again.
I had seen the children before since the tragedy…
but this visit was the first one to her house.
The last time I walked through that door…was with shannon.

—I had photos to share of us from my phone.. but I was asked to remove them to protect the kids. I guess their father’s parents are trying to get photos of them for him. The fact that I cannot even share them in my life right now makes me sooo angry.He continues to take from us. But I am trying to understand and will not post photos of them to protect them from him and be happy to have those memories and photos for myself.—-

My stomach was turning in knots. so many emotions.
I was so excited to see their sweet faces and so scared to relive moments at her house.
As I walked in the door and was hugged by these two cuties and by shannon’s dad and step mom.. I fought back the tears.. till the kids were away jumping on my brother.. and then I cried. and Karen told me it was ok to cry. I told her I didn’t want every memory the kids had of me to be me crying. I wanted to be strong. but I needed that moment.
A hug.. and some words of wisdom from her and then I was quickly whisked away by emma to see her new room!

I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to make that trip until we were turning into her neighborhood… luckily I was going with my brother
(who was also best friends with shannon) and his wife mary.
They made me feel stronger.

These sweet beautiful children are so joyful. so full of life.
and good huggers. :) and will take pictures for cookies.

I felt like I was in a dream… I was standing in the family room holding micah smiling, watching the kids wrestle with david.. and as I looked up I saw the balcony.. and remembered walking up those steps with shannon. or her running up to grab something and then standing there looking down.

Her daughter was so excited to show me her new room
(that some very generous wonderful friends, and strangers, had made over for her.)
It used to be shannon’s room.
The new space was freshly painted. It was so beautiful..with a huge cinderella carriage bed.. one of a kind art work.. beautiful details. She had photos of her mommy on the wall next to her bed. many of them from my wedding day. (she was a bridesmaid)

Pretty sure the last time I was in her room… We had been out toilet papering and shaving creaming our friend’s car in the target parking lot (he was the target security guard. he caught us. I ended up hand cuffed to his car. haha.)
we ended the night at her house making cookies and singing and dancing in her room.
We laughed so hard that night.
Below we were in shannon’s room… I’m wearing the scarf she made me.
one year for christmas she made all of us girls one. :)
My sophie talks about shannon a lot.
“mama you know your sister.. your friend..who is in heaven..
and is an angel now…I can’t wait to go there too and be an angel!”
(she thinks she is my sister even though I’ve explained it many times.)
When Emma was holding micah…meeting him for the first time..
it made me think back to when I would come in town and Shannon and I
would get together and smile over our babies together.
(black and white photo was our last time together.. introducing our little babies.)
for shannon’s sweet children,
your mama was amazing.
she was beautiful.
she was funny.
she loved to laugh and be silly.
she was creative. she always loved when my mom would
give her yarn from our basement that was always stocked with it.
she was spiritual. I remember staying up late talking about our faith our relationship with God..and about boys.. about respecting ourselves and wanting that guy that would treat us right.
she had a sweet tooth. I remember always getting arby’s chocolate milk shakes (and curly fries) after XLT (adoration night at a local high school)
she liked to sing into hair brushes.
she was adventurous and we would always go to a rock climbing place and she would zoom up the mountain. usually attacking me at least once with the chalk for your hands.
she was kind.
she loved you.
she LOVED you.
and talked about you all the time.
every phone call revolved around you both and my girls.
about how you guys were growing so much.. how much or how little you slept..
how amazing you were……..

I’ll never forget your mama.
and I’ll never let you either.
I love you both so much… and know that one day when you are older you will read this…
and I hope that I can bring her to life for you through these memories.

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  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Beautiful post! You are stronger than you’ll ever give yourself credit for. Love you dearest!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Her children will keep coming back to you in years to be reminded of those very special memories of their lovely Mummy xx

  • Reply
    Susan Jeffries
    April 3, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Thank you for this beautiful post. And thank you for keeping her alive for her babies. susan

  • Reply
    Mandy Rose
    April 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Such a honest post and this is why I heart you. Double heart you actually. :) You inspire me!

  • Reply
    Erica Jackson
    April 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

    This was such an incredible post. You are an amazing person and definitely stronger than you give yourself credit for. Her children are so blessed to have you in their lives and she will live on through you! XO

  • Reply
    Erica Jackson
    April 4, 2013 at 8:35 am

    What an inspiring post! You are definitely stronger than you give yourself credit for! Her children are so blessed to have you in their lives and she will live on through you. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Reply
    April 5, 2013 at 4:16 am

    Thank you for sharing this with us! And to always remember her!

    She is really an Angel!

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