Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It Was A Very Good Year...


Shannon continued to amaze our family with her strength, faith, and sheer will to live. In December of 2010, Shannon changed the focus of her blog,, to Everything about Shannon and her attitude was about thriving.


During this time period Shannon took two cake decorating classes, shopped for and refurbished antiques, painted rooms in her house, and created a space for Ben that she called his "Man Cave". Shannon bought new furniture for several rooms in her house. She participated in friends' birthday parties, weddings, and lived life as if there was a tomorrow. During this time she also taught a Discipleship Class on Sunday mornings with her husband Ben at our church. To say I was proud of her would be a gross understatement. I loved watching my girl thrive. 


There of course were times that Shannon would have to be taken out to the car to sit, or sit on the store floor for a few minutes to compose herself. But she didn’t let her cancer stop her. She continued to work at the Pentagon, enduring a hard commute for even a healthy person. 

This was a year in my memory that I draw so much strength from. I like to think about my determined and strong girl. Her new focus blog, started on December 30, 2010 and stopped with her last blog post on February 23, 2011. It was on February 28th that Shannon got the shocking news that her cancer had returned and spread with 5 new tumors. Shannon did not blog anymore after this but I do have her journal where she documents some of what she felt and writes in her unique style about the way the medical world looks at you when bad news is being delivered. 

For the next bit of time I am going to feature posts from Shannon’s blog from the time she felt she was thriving. You will be nothing short of entertained. Shannon had a gift for writing and my thought is that it should be included in this blog as well.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Strength in Weakness, Part 5


My last blog post, Strength in Weakness Part 4, spoke about a very low time in my life in dealing with Shannon’s cancer and her prognosis. However for my dear Shannon this was not a low time. Shannon was actually entering into the best year she would have with her cancer, feeling better, stronger and definitely up to more adventures.

During this time, Shannon and a few of her friends decided they would start a monthly girl’s night. I was not included in the girl nights-but was often entertained by Shannon the next day with stories of what they did. I am sure I got the censored version.

The girls would take turns hosting the nights at one or the other’s homes and their husbands would be told to scoot or make themselves scarce. From what I was told most of the husbands gladly left the young woman on their own.

Some of the stories I remember hearing were about the laughter that would set in as they met to eat and share time with each other. Shannon would say that even into the wee hours of the morning a few of the girls would hang tight and would end up doing nothing more than laughing over the silliest of things. I imagine now what a great rest of mind this must have been for Shannon and how laughter made her heart feel lighter.

I know one friend would always bring sushi. This was one of Shannon’s favorite things- right up there with- Mountain Dew and Carlson’s donuts (much to my chagrin!) Shannon would tell me over and over how I just needed to try this great Sushi. How she knew I would love it. Well I never did try the Sushi and to be honest this is not something I am regretting today.

I know these young women would have small birthday and Christmas exchanges. Shannon would often handcraft some new project to give as a gift to these dear friends.

I am fairly certain that these monthly get together’s continued right through the remainder of her life. Sometimes they would have to come to her and I am sure toward the end Shannon might have cancelled. But I know this- the day of Shannon’s passing, one of these dear girls lay on her bed and scratched her head and sang to her. She sang, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus". The friend later told me that she was not sure if Shannon was singing with her or praying but even as life was about to ebb from her precious body she was with one of these faithful friends.

To be the friend of a dying person is in itself strength in weakness, both for Shannon and for her friends. I think back to these stories and it is with a fond and happy memory to think of Shannon laughing till all hours of the night with the young women God put in her life for that precise time.