This past week, I had the opportunity to meet with my new principal. As I sat down, she said, “Tell me about yourself.” The first thing I said was, “I’m sure you have heard…” and proceeded to tell her about Shawn and how I ended up in Green Bay. I find myself doing this often as I meet new people. I had previously written that I do not want Shawn to be defined by his death, and yet I often let it define me. Shawn’s death is a huge part of my life. It has changed me; it has altered my future, but it does not define me.
Next time someone asks me who I am, I will share this:
I am a daughter. I am a granddaughter. I am a sister. I am an aunt. I am a niece. I am a friend. I am a dog mom. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist.
I am strong.
I am hopeful.
I am kind.
I am compassionate.
I am courageous.
I am a survivor.
Shawn’s death does not define me. I define me.