I am going to Nantucket.  WOW, just to say it … just to type it … feels so amazing.  Anyone who knows me in just the slightest of ways knows this is a place very dear to my heart.  I have only been there one time (for a vacation after college with my mom) .. and I never wanted to leave.  It is a very small island off the coast of Massachusetts where only about 10,000 live people year around, and gets about 50,000 vistitors for the beautiful summer weather and festivals.  I always imagined living there with my family at some point in my life.   It is an old whaling town (much like lahaina HI) and the entire island stretches only 14 miles long and 3-6 miles deep.  The whales are there in the fall and the living there is simple.  It is charming.  Everyone rides bikes and waves to one another.  The roads are lines with bed and breakfasts, charming storefronts, climbing flowers and rest on old cobblestone roads … it is  beach life with a twist of country living at it’s best.  Simply magical. 

nantucket island

 My plans are to go there for an extended stay.   Although every day of our lives now hold some level of happiness and a great deal of sorrow … I have been having a lot of anxiety about this upcoming fall season.  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas to be exact.   My favorite time of year, but this year will be so different.  So difficult.  I want to do something uplifting and different, because just  going through the motions does always feel right.  So I am going to the island for just under a month and will be home for Christmas with my hubby.  We are hopeful Steven will be able to make it out for some of the trip (at least a week) … but time will tell on how that plays out with happenings here at home.   I got a small apartment at the Wharf in town and will need no car (the grocery is 2 blocks away).  I have also already meet very nice people on the phone, just in my hunt for a place.  I look forward to exploring and meeting new friends of all ages.

the apparment is the taller buildings in the back

Why?  The BIG question is why am I doing this?  When you grieve, whatever that looks like to each individual person, you learn something and feel everything.   And what makes me feel best these days is doing things to honor Wylder and share is story, to help others, and to follow my heart.  I want to be able to look up to the sky and say to Wylder …. thank you buddy, at the age of 31 I did something on my bucket list because I learned from YOU.  I learned life is short, and I will be doing something scary, fun, dreamy because you taught me to do it today.  You taught me it doesn’t always have to work it out on a piece of paper and everything doesn’t have to be pure logic.  Your taught me to live and love TODAY.  I am going to tucket to cry.  To laugh.  To clear my head.  It is not like to me not to be able to think straight or make decisions, so I hope I come back a bit more “me”-like.  I am going to breath.  I feel suffocated … I need that fresh salt water air.  I am going to get away from our home for a bit.  I love it here and it is hard here.  I am going to sleep. To  draw.  To walk. To write.  To feel sand in my toes.  To miss something so much and to feel so broken is hard, even on good days.  This will not fix that … but I believe it will help.  It I believe if you do what is in your heart … the rest will follow.

This was not a decision our family came to lightly.  It was a lot of vacillating.  We have had many discussions about moving, staying, maui, tucket etc.  The bottom line in we are going to stay here in AZ long term (at least that is the plan to date.).   We have built a nice life for ourselves here, we can make a difference in our community here, and we have incredible family, friends and memories surrounding us here.  Steven has worked very hard to provide for our family these last three years and we do love our home, that is filled with so many memories.  That being said, the day by day and my grief here is hard, in our home everyday.  I was quite happy to hear from our therapist this is normal to feel this way, to want to escape (especially for women).   I know it is difficult for Steven to completely understand, but he is supportive and I know he will love tucket as much as I do and will breath that salt water air and just know it just what the doctor ordered.   Even if it is freezing in the winter.  ;)

I have been doing a lot of research about things to do in tucket in december.  I am most excited for the Christmas stroll.  They bring mr and mrs clause in by coast guard and they climb into a horse and carriage and ride up main street to light the main Christmas tree.  Everything is decorated for Christmas to the nines, children sing carols and the shops offer warm cider as your stroll by.  My love for Christmas and it’s spirit will grow I am sure.  There are coffee boat rides to see the seals and even some ice cold fishing if you can brave it.  There is even a day where they are lining the streets with non profit organizations, having raffles and to give back.  I hope to have a Warrior baby stand their that day (i know you new I would say that) .

I am excited to be sharing this with all of you.  I hope it will be a reminder to live out your dreams and learn from your loved ones here and departed.  Wylder, thank you … we love and miss you daily … and feel your spirit with us.  Signing off todays blog with a poem from nantucket.  Much love to you all. xoxo

There once was a man from Nantucket

Who kept all his cash in a bucket.

But his daughter, named Nan,Ran away with a man

And as for the bucket, Nantucket.

forever tied to the sea



  1. Shannon I am so proud of you to be following what your heart is telling you to do. If it feels right to you then it is the place that you need to be right now. xoxo

  2. Cari Gallo says:

    As always, after reading your beautiful writing, I am in tears. I am so proud of you and so amazed at your ability to voice all of your emotions with such kind clarity. You truly are an amazing woman, Shannon. In your short 31 years you have lived more than many. I am so proud to be a part of your amazing journey and I know that you and Steven’s life will be rich with friends, and goodness. I hope we can help in getting you both to a place where you can feel Wylder without sadness or grief, and to a place where you both can find happiness. I just read an article in Newsweek on a Nuerosurgeon who died and went to heaven and then came back. It sounds glorious. Wylder is singing in heaven! Read it, it will bring you much comfort! It makes me want to go. I love you both and think of you so often :)

  3. Shannon – such very special news about You & Tucket. I love, admire, appreciate, adore you, your thoughts, your goals, your ideas, your efforts to expand your horizons. This is a big plan, a great chance to have an experience, especially, at that time of year in Nantucket, and to continue to hear Wylder, heal yourself, and keep moving onto aspirations. My arms are around you and the family, Always. Aunt Liz!

  4. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!!!! I am so happy for you!!! Oh I wish I could sneak off with you, that will be so magical and I can just feel you clearing your head from all the way across the ocean. I am so proud of you for following your heart and for Steven for being so supportive and loving, you guys make a great team. I am hoping so much he can join you too for a few days! I cannot wait to hear all about it-I know it will be a month to remember. love you sweet mama.

  5. Tracey McFadden says:

    Shannon, I am only a couple of hours from Nantucket, If you feel lonely and need anyone to talk to….please call 413-387-9282. I know we don’t know each other but my parents are very good friends of your grandparents. You have inspired me so much and I feel honored to have known about Wylder’s story. I would love the opportunity to help you explore Massachusetts.

  6. I am about 6 hours away, but would love to give you a hug and maybe shed some tears together. Let me know if you want to get together at some point.

  7. This excerpt made me cry too. I know what it is like to want to escape sometimes. I can’t imagine the grief you are going through. My daughter just turned 4 and I look back on our first 2 years…and say Wow. I’ve written before…but she had some medical conditions that made her have to have a trach for 18 months. She still has her birthmark on her neck and it is her “beauty mark”. She talks about it sometimes now that she is older and I tell her how only special little people get them…and she is pretty special!

    Your story has touched my heart and I keep up with your blog. We also just bought your book…wonderful! As a matter of fact…I am going to buy another one to donate. You see, we are starting a board book collection at one of the children’s hospitals here in Charlotte, NC. I work for a non-profit and we want to start this with the NICU and pediatrics program. I think it is only natural that Wylder’s book be the first one!! I will keep you posted :)

    And may you find a new “home” in Nantucket. I’ve never been but will go one day! Explore your soul and just “be”. Thinking of you!

  8. Nanci Glassman says:


    What a perfect plan!! I know it will be a wonderful month in an amazing place. I hope Steven can come to visit you and share in the inspiration of this time on the water. It is such a beautiful setting. May you read, write, ponder, enjoy music, and breathe in the fresh air. May you feel the strength of Wylder reminding you to make the most of every day.


  9. Cathy Johnson says:

    Fantastic, Shannon! So happy for you that you will have this time to “just be” and to find your new place in the world. Happy that you have this opportunity to follow a dream and grateful that you are sharing with us why you are making this sojourn. Mr. Littles – your message is loud and clear: “Today- with no regrets!” We love your Mommy for keeping your message in the forefront of our days and your Daddy for helping her do it! xoxo

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