7-Day Countdown to Our Mom’s “Murphys Don’t Quit” Book Release on October 5th!
A post from each of the SEVEN Murphy Kids, AKA SLESKRM — Sam, Lauren, Erin, Shannon, Kelsey, Ryan & Maggie – and our Dad (Lauren and our Dad will post together)
Countdown – 4 Days until the “Murphys Don’t Quit” Book Release!
Today’s Post is from: Shannon
Murphy Kid Order/Number: I am the 4th and the middle child — the neglected middle child…..
Quick background: I work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and I am a Child Life Specialist.
Favorite parts of the book: I am not a big reader, so my favorite part was the pictures… haha KIDDING. My favorite parts of the book were remembering all of the weird quirks Lauren used to have, and how my family is pretty good at finding the humor in things.
I am not the best writer, nor the best at sharing my feelings, so bear with me… I remember April 19, 2013, like it was yesterday. I found out about Lauren’s accident from my sister, Erin. I remember sitting in my dorm room with my roommate, Megan, and I said, “Oh! My sister is calling.” I was excited to see her name pop up on my phone and thought we would have a fun “chit chat,” as we like to call it. I did not know that my world was about to change forever. I could tell you word for word what Erin said on that phone call. Ask any of my friends, I cannot repeat a conversation to save a life… but for some reason I can recount that phone call verbatim.
When thinking about what to write for this, I thought I would write about the “5 Keys to Unlocking Hope When Life Seems Hopeless” that my mom writes about in her book and how those keys have helped me the last 8 years.
The first key: Show Up. I will never forget all the people that showed up for me. My roommate drove me home to St. Louis that day; my high school friends made me lasagna (my favorite food) and a cake and brought it to my house the weekend of the accident, and stayed with me while I cried and told stories about Lauren (not knowing if she would make it at that point); countless texts, phone calls, and messages on social media showing support; t shirt and bracelet sales; the golf tournament; other events; the list goes on and on. I felt so much love and support during that time. One thing – that might seem small but meant the world to me – was when a friend helped me with a school project. If you know me, you know I was not always the best student… and school was definitely the last thing on my mind after the accident, but I had a friend named Courtney in my biology class (we went to grade school and high school together—she is a year older than me), and without asking or knowing that I hadn’t even started this semester long project, she sent me a completed project that one of her friends did the semester before and told me to change a few things and to use it. (Sorry if that teacher is reading this…) I don’t know if I ever properly thanked her for this and she probably didn’t even think it was a big deal, but she SHOWED UP for me in a big way. It put1 less thing on my plate at the time, and I was so grateful then and still am to this day. People continue to show up for me and my family all these years later and I am forever grateful for every single one of them.
Second key: Find Your Cheerleader. I could go on and on about how great my friends are and have been, especially the last 8 years. They have been my cheerleaders through every single step. They have been there during my grief journey, encouraged me throughout my career, and are always there as a shoulder to cry on. I was 19 when Lauren’s accident happened, so my friends were very important to me at the time and were my support. I leaned on them probably too much. I think my siblings are also my cheerleaders – SLESKRM, as we like to call each other. They are always the first people I call when I have news to share, good or bad. And the nice thing about having 6 siblings is, when one doesn’t answer your phone call, you have 5 more chances to talk to someone… but in all seriousness, they are all my best friends and my biggest cheerleaders.
Third key: Kindness is Free. Isn’t that so true? It takes little work to just be kind. So many people did kind things for my family and me during one of the hardest moments of our lives. Total strangers sent cards, gifts, and prayers—and I am forever thankful for that. I truly believe Lauren’s recovery is a miracle. Like I have mentioned a lot, there were so many kind things done for me and my family. But one thing that is sticking out to me right now is when my mom created a documentary about Lauren and another TBI survivor. I was living in New York at the time and was not able to go to the movie premier at Incarnate Word Academy (my high school). I was very sad I could not be there. I had mentioned it to my high school friends, not expecting any of them to go, especially because I was not able to go. As I’m sure you can guess, a couple of my friends went, and they didn’t text me that they were going or send me pictures or anything. They didn’t go to get praise or a thank you. They went because they wanted to, and they wanted to continue to support. I found out from my family who was there, and again that act of kindness and showing support meant the world to me.
Fourth key: Work Hard. Lauren inspires me every single day and mostly it is because of how hard she works. She has to work harder than most people to do very simple things and she does it with a smile on her face, always. Watching Lauren work so hard the last 8 years has encouraged me to continue to work hard in everything I do as well. One thing I must work hard is dealing with the grief of Lauren’s accident. Sometimes I am totally okay, and the next minute it hits me like a ton of bricks. There is so much that was lost, but through that loss, I have also gained so much. I have gained so much hope, a stronger faith in God, a stronger bond with my siblings, and so much more. But there are still days where I am angry, sad, and feel like life is unfair. And those are the days I must work hard to remember all the good things, and I do. And it usually doesn’t take that long, because through all the sadness and bad times, there is so much good in my life and I am so thankful for that.
Fifth key: Never Give Up. I’m not sure if many people know this but “Murphys Don’t Quit” was our family mantra long before Lauren’s accident. My dad has said that to us for as long as I can remember. Any time we wanted to quit anything – quit cleaning our room, quit a sport, quit doing our homework, whatever it was – my dad’s response was always “Murphys don’t quit.” Even though it was usually met with an eye roll from me, I secretly did love it. My mom and dad have always taught us to never give up and I think that is one reason Lauren is where she is today, because that was instilled in her. She is the epitome of “never give up.” I am SO DANG proud of her and everything she has accomplished these last 8.5 years. She is truly remarkable and a walking miracle. And with all that she goes through, she stays positive. She sends me a “good morning, beautiful” text almost every morning. I remember praying so hard for months to hear her speak just one word. Now she calls me nightly to tell me the score of the Cardinals game. Like I said, she is a miracle. And my favorite miracle at that.
I am also so proud of my mom for writing this book. I know she is going to help and bring so much hope to people who are maybe dealing with something similar. You just read a little bit about how Lauren’s accident has affected me, but in just a few days you will get to read my mom’s perspective. Enjoy!!
What Can YOU Do Now?
Help Support our Mom’s Book & Lauren’s Recovery Journey!
1) SHARE this post!
2) ORDER a “Murphys Don’t Quit” book on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Murphys-Dont-Quit-Unlocking-Hopeless/dp/1631955179/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=murphys+dont+quit&qid=1630981777&sr=8-1) or Barnes & Noble (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murphys-dont-quit-colleen-murphy/1138862342?ean=9781631955181)!
3) ATTEND the October 10th book launch party from 11am – 3pm at Piazza Messina in Cottleville, MO.
4) CONTACT US if your company, organization, or group is interested in our mom, Colleen Murphy, and Lauren telling their story through their live (or virtual) speaking platform – LaurenMurphysdontquit@gmail.com. Events like these provide our mom and Lauren great joy, in that they can share Lauren and our family’s story, connect with and inspire others, and spread awareness of traumatic brain injury and aphasia!
THANK YOU! We ❤️ Team Murphy!