Monday, August 25, 2014


I suck. One nice day in April and it all goes to shit. I've been MIA all summer. The good news? I've been down 50 lbs now for about a month and then tragedy struck in our lives and the scale hasn't moved since. In all seriousness, tragedy did strike us and I apologize for getting dark but it was one of the most horrible things that ever happened to me. My son, who is 22, lost his very best friend suddenly. He collapsed and died on the football field at Winona State during practice. My heart hurts, I mean really physically hurts for the pain my son is going through but mostly for the loss in our lives.

Shawn was a big oaf of a kid. Big and gentle as could be. He's been around since 2000 when I moved over to Elm Street after I lost my job and my boyfriend and had to move to the "other" side of the tracks. He and my son had known each other over the years but it wasn't until right around this time and living in the same neighborhood that they finally took a liking to each other. They were 8 and I remember watching them
out the window of my third story walk up apartment wondering what they'd be like when they grew up. Fast forward 14 years later through all of the teenage craziness that boys put their moms through and they are still friends. They have seen each other thru girlfriends, broken hearts, first times, learning to drive, learning to drink (ha) and lots of "bad burrito" excuses to hide it from me when things got out of control and they couldn't handle what they drank and they were still friends. He was there when I met my husband and there on my wedding day, he was a like a son to me. He was always there. As they got bigger, they got hungrier and they would literally eat me out of the house after I'd grocery shop when I was still single. Years later, Shawn got recruited by several big time schools and Zach went along in support on his recruiting visit to Notre Dame and the other schools until Shawn decided on University of Illinois. Shawn graduated early and went off to college and Zach went on to a different college after high school and still, they remained friends. They never stopped being there for each other. I could not have been happier that my son would know "that" friendship that lasted a lifetime. Shawn graduated college in three years, met the love of his life, stuck around Champaign while Zach was finishing up college in DeKalb and still, they remained friends. When they were back home at the same time, no matter what, that would take precedence and they would spend their time doing the same things they did when they were eight years old, being silly kids.

The night Zach called me from the gym was a phone call I will never forget and I knew that things would never be the same again. So to fast forward through an awful month, Shawn is gone and nothing will ever be the same. Our lives have changed, I am changed in a way I can't describe to anyone, not even myself. I'm functioning but there are times that I just want to retreat. I honestly feel like there isn't a soul on this earth that can understand what I feel because I don't understand. I'm sad for my son and for what he's feeling and that he has lost the one person in his life that was so important to him. But beyond that,
I've lost a part of myself. I find an anxiety and a panic within myself that I can't free myself from, afraid of what might happen next. There are times I can't believe he's gone and times I don't want to believe he's gone. Sometimes I pause and wonder if it all really happened. It did. I have no explanation for why, I didn't get to say goodbye, I didn't get to thank him for saving Zach's life when they were 10 and I didn't get to tell him how much he meant to me. He was an amazing kid and I didn't realize until he was gone how lucky I was to have him in my life.