Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shannon


Again, I've procrastinated doing the hard things, but it's time to anty up. I'm in San Diego now, but started this post before I left, and have come back to it several times in my thoughts. It's a slow day today, recovering from some debauchery and resting for more to come soon, and I think it's time to come to terms with this topic. I keep asking myself, how can I do her service with one silly post? I pray that this honors her the way she deserves.

Shannon.

The first time I read her blog, I was amazed by her spunk and literally laughed out loud. She had not only that special gift for writing but also a flare for finding in everything -literally, even the bad stuff- something funny. I just spent 45 minutes going back through old posts of hers, and what a blessing it is to all of us to have access to this woman's journey. In spite of myself, I could not stop laughing. To be able to go through so much, and yet never lose that sunny sense of humor, to be blatantly honest and vulnerable and yet so unflinchingly strong, to be in need of friends and support and yet supply that support through her words to so many- only Shannon could pull it off.

And she did. Yet she did it with the greatest humility and the most intense humanity. She said she always had trouble relating to people, calling herself "basically socially inept" and a loner, but I never understood it, because every post was like she was reading my mind. And she had such a sense of love written in every word- she loved animals and was always posting pics of them, she loved being a mom and wanted to be the world's greatest, she brought smiles to so many cancer patients and she never seemed to strike out in anger against all that mounted against her. I took a montage of pics from her blog and posted them here, laughing and smiling at her insane sense of humor.

Case in point? Waiting rooms to her were always "purgatory." She never just wrote, "my house is a mess." Instead, she'd write, "By midmorning, it looked like Christmas had thrown up all over our living room." or "You would think I would be utilizing my time once the kids are in school wisely...but noooo. Into the zone I go. Just sapped; literally wiped OUT. Actually wrote "clean me now" in the dust on my bedroom dresser while a dust bunny the size of a tumble weed rolled by and came to a rest by my feet." I can't help but giggle. I wish I could've heard her say those things, I'm sure she had the timing of an expert comedian.

One of my favorite posts was when she had to get a full body skin check by a new doc.
"The doc also, predictably enough, had to examine the virtual galaxy of moles to be found on just about every skin surface covering my body, then asked if any of my moles were changing. This, after being to countless dermatologist visits, is pretty run of the mill in the life of a melanoma patient. The semi-naked chicken dance without the dancing... Shortly thereafter, the doc instructs me to roll onto my side because he has to check my "backside" as he put it. I have no clue. I am thinking about that mole on my left @$$ cheek and how hard it will be for him to see it if I am lying on my left side. Was I DEAD WRONG. I hear the word hemoccult, digital and rectal called out to the nurse and with a very sharp intake of breath, a gasp that I am sure people heard two rooms down, and eyes literally popping out of their sockets, I stiffened up like rigor mortis set in prematurely."

And yet you knew, even in her humor, how it felt to be down, in your lowest moments. She wrote one time, "I don't think I spent a collective 10 minutes this morning not crying and wallowing in that annoying self pitying state that makes most people wanna nail you upside the head with a 2X4."

I'm going to miss Shannon so much, I can't imagine what her family must be going through. This all seems so senseless, but, as I've been told, people like Shannon are a gift, and we must appreciate every moment we've had to know them. I know that she left me with great words of wisdom that I try to remember every day.


"I wish like hell I never had to imagine the scenario of leaving this amazing life behind, because, simply put, it makes me feel as though someone punched a whole in my chest and ripped out my heart....laid me bare....
But no matter what....Live only in the moment. For good or for bad, that is all any of us is really guarranteed, melanoma or not.
And the beat goes on..."

9 comments:

Snobby Bobby said...

My love, you're 1300 miles away and we're still 36 hours from seeing each other again.

But the picture of Shannon and her kids really hit home. Because she's gone. These two kids don't have a mother anymore. At least not one they can go to, hug and love. And a husband is now without his wife.

Overly dramatic? No. This is real and these are real people who's lives have been turned upside down.

If it does make sense, I can't even begin to understand it. I just know that posts like this make me love you even more. It's hard to explain.

I can't wait to see you.
Love,
Bobby

Carver said...

Dear Lori,

Thank you so much for such a perfect post to honor Shannon.

As ever, Carver

Anonymous said...

Lori, you have such a gift for honoring people as they truly were. i can't think of anything more important, in the absence of, as you might put it, a sensible God who makes sure everything turns out right. Thank you for your warm, humane, generous writing.

Kim said...

Gasp. Thanks L'il Sis.
Shannon's passing has me in a strange state...when the sadness comes forward, I think of her humor in the face of the really bleak and I just smile.
Not to say that some her words couldn't pack a wallop in regard to her battle with melanoma. Especially when she said that she could see family pictures without her in them. Gasp.
But then she always called things as she saw them and as they were...from calling the machine that measured her heart rate during IL-2 a 'touchy little bastard' to referring to her cat as 'a total nutbag'.
Of course the tears to honor Shannon still rain forth. Gasp. Then a smile quickly replaces them. Why does Grandmama always have to be right? :-)
YOU are so right about Shannon's sharp wit. Her humor was a large part of her strength. And a wonderful legacy that she leaves us all.
I will always love her.

from Shannon's blog after an ice storm in her town...
The picture doesn't do it justice. Everything was sparkling like it had a coating of crystal. Amazing. Breathtaking.

Hey, that is what I will keep telling myself. Eventually, the sun always comes out and lights things up. Even the worst things don't last, and nothing, not even a bad mood, can last forever.

Tears. Gasp. Another smile.

Love, K.

PS That Bobby...what a guy!

Sandy said...

Lori - I just wanted to let you know that I have given you the Inspirational Blogger Award and you can read about it at the link below. You are truly awesome!

http://www.fightingfatigue.org/?p=872

David said...

Hi Lori. As tragic as this story is you did an amazing job with this post and in honoring her memory.

Take care,

David

BratGirl97 said...

Your post was perfect. I can't think of anything I could have said that captured my feelings as well as you have.

Ed said...

Lori, Thankyou for your wonderfull post. It's very special to know that Shannon had such an effect on people. She always doubted her ability. Here is a link to her memorial DVD http://realmofdelight.net/philzie/shannon.htm
I'm still working up a fiting tribute for a last post on her blog. Thanks Ed(Shannons husband)

Anonymous said...

Lori, Thankyou for your wonderfull post. It's very special to know that Shannon had such an effect on people. She always doubted her ability. Here is a link to her memorial DVD http://realmofdelight.net/philzie
/shannon.htm
I'm still working up a fiting tribute for a last post on her blog. Thanks Ed(Shannons husband)

i2y

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