This post started out titled, “TODAY,” to be posted on January 24.

As it turns out, that day didn’t allow me to write and post. Knowing that January 24, 2017, was the anniversary of our bus accident, I should have known better than to plan.

This week was an emotional one, for many reasons. It started last weekend when I was in South Bend with a visit to the Grotto; dinner with my coach, Tim; time with my Monogram family and friends who have meant so much to me over the past 25 years; a visit to Meghan’s grave and Colleen’s tree. Separately, these events would be emotional; together, with the impending anniversary, it was at times overwhelming.

On Monday, my oldest son turned 15. Our children’s birthdays are always milestones; compounded with the emotions of pride we feel as they grow from a teenager to a young adult, watching them navigate challenges on their own and make good choices. It’s one of the greatest joys of a parent, and an emotional one as well, knowing with each birthday he is one year closer to leaving us. I am very proud of him, and amazed that he’s mine, all at the same time.

Wednesday was my mom’s 70th birthday. SEVENTY. She doesn’t look 70 and she doesn’t act 70 (although I’m not sure I know how a 70-year-old is supposed to act). My mom, who lived through a horror worse than mine, and who amazes me with her continued and unwavering love, celebrated a milestone of her own. I hope I look (and act!) as great as she does when I turn 70.

Sandwiched in between these two birthday milestones was The Anniversary. Or as my children call it, “Mom’s Special Day.”

January 24, 2017. The 25th Anniversary of the Notre Dame Swim Team Bus Accident.

The anniversary this year was an emotional one. It was different from year’s past in ways I couldn’t have predicted. I am still processing the emotions of the past week, and I hope to share them with you in a meaningful way; in a way, I hope, that continues to help others navigate their own challenges.

In the meantime, I leave you with a piece that helps define how widespread our bus accident was felt: I Still Remember That Night, by John Heisler. So many who were not on the bus still remember. And for those of us who were on the bus, we are so grateful they do.

I Still Remember That Night