The first balloon ever released...

The first balloon ever released...

Friday, June 13, 2014


They always say that everyone mourns differently and I have gotten a full dose of this. I have watched the reactions of so many people since the passing of my daughter and it is a tough thing to watch. I myself am grieving in ways I never thought of, I find myself doing things I would NEVER do, things that are completely contradictory to my personality. 

One that I have noticed the most is hugging people. I have to say over all I am NOT a touchy-feely person ESPECIALLY when I am upset but ever since McKenna died, deep down I always feel a VERY STRONG need to hug EVERYONE! The weirdest part of it all is I feel an even STRONGER need to hug people that I'm not even that close too. 

I have been thinking about this strange urge for the last few weeks and finally realized why I feel this way...  I miss McKenna's hugs. 

When I think about McKenna most of my daydreams are about hugging her again.  Most of my memories of her are about all the hugs we shared. At night before bed I squeeze her little doll because it's the closest I can get to the real deal. McKenna was a hugger/cuddler/lover. She LOVED to snuggle, to hold hands, to be held. She was a very touchy-feely kid and when I was with her she always melted this tough exterior into a giant mushy-gushy mommy. 

Our mornings were the exact same routine every single day she would wake up and call out for daddy even though she knew that I was the only one who ever got her up and ready for the day (such a daddy's girl) then I would go in her room and say with a big smile "morning Kenna Bear" and she would plop back down in her bed and hide (she was not a morning person, just like her daddy) then I would tickle her till I got a smile, pick her up and we would hug. I would hold her and squeeze her and rock back and forth until she gave me the "ok" by lifting her head off my shoulder. Then I would lay her on the ground and she would want to cuddle up with me down there as well so I would lay on the ground next to her and let her hold my face and give it little kisses and tell me "I love you mommy" then I would kiss her cheek, her nose, then her other cheek and say "I love you Kenna Bear" and THEN we would start our day. 

That is no exaggeration of our mornings, it was about a 5-10 minute process everyday and I loved it. I NEVER rushed that part of my day even if I was already running late because the mornings and the drives to and from school were my only real time with her. Being a full time medical student I was gone most days and home late at night, so I absorbed every second of love and affection I could get in that little time frame to hold me over till I could do it again because every mom knows that we get our super powers from our children. 

Their love, their kisses, their hugs are like rechargable batteries for parents. That's how we are able to do what we do, that's how I was able to do what I do! That's  how I was able to face another day at school, that's how I was able to work so hard and do every thing in my power to spend even the tiniest of time with my family, that's how I was able to pull myself in 10 million different directions and still smile. 

Not having that morning snuggle time is rough, not having those little kisses are unbearable, but not being able to hug her makes me cry every-single-day. I miss those hugs, i miss that tiny body wrapped competley around mine, I miss those big hazel eyes looking deep into my soul reminding me how lucky I am. 

Zach and I had it all, a happy marriage, a beautiful home, and 3 amazing kids.  Maybe we had it too good, maybe this life was too easy for us and like Job in the Bible we needed to be challenged more to show who we really are.  I'm not really sure yet why she's gone but what I do know is this is not the end.  I'm still so blessed in so many ways and even though the days are long and the house feels empty without her I know there is a purpose in all things. I know my daughter did not just die and that is the end of the story, I know I'm not left here to just suffer and feel miserable till we see each other  again. No, that's not my story, my story is painful but my story has a purpose, my story has hope, my story has love, my story will have a happy ending and this story doesn't end until I get another hug from my daughter. 

I know that families are forever <3


  1. Billie said this is a beautiful song. She also thinks you have a beautiful voice. Billis thinks you are a wonderful mom.

  2. Shannon, you are so special. I often wonder how the Potter/Steely family were blessed with you. Your children will have this song of love and praise. Hopefully it will be passed down for generations. It will bless many lives. Love ya, memaw