Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Not a typical post

I've been out of the loop for 4 days -- long Labor Day weekend vacation, 12th wedding anniversary, college football, and lots of mileage on the mini-van.

But for all the fun that we had, it was mired by the news that one of my best friends and sorority sisters, Shannon, died on Sunday.

Shannon was diagnosed 10 years ago, at the age of 33, with breast cancer.  After an intense treatment and 5 years of remission, it came back terminal 2 years ago.  We had a marvelous luncheon for her when we found out that she would not survive this.  We thought she had just months to live then.  But Shannon was a warrior and kept cancer at bay for 2 more years.  Earlier this summer, she suffered a series of strokes that left her paralyzed on her right side.  She still fought on.  But like cancer seems to do, it takes the best and brightest. 

Shannon had a wit all her own and a very distinctive voice that I can still hear in my head.  She loved the Denver Broncos, John Elway, New York City and pink frosted lipstick.  She was a flight attendant for American Airlines and when I was single and traveling for work, I always hoped I would see Shannon on one of my flights.  When I was moving from Tulsa to Washington DC, Shannon flew in just to help me pack (something I would have forgotten if I hadn't discovered the pictures of us in my nasty, little apartment).

Since finding out about her death, I haven't been able to open the cover of a book.  Reporting to you about what I am reading seems so silly. 

But I will have plenty of time to read on my flight to Dallas tomorrow for the memorial service.  I just hope the sight of a flight attendant doesn't bring me to tears.



The gang at Shannon's luncheon -- she is on the left in the back row -- white blazer over a black shirt.  Even more disturbing, Angie (red hair, front, middle) passed away last December totally unexpectedly due to complications from diabetes.  We are far too young to be dying.

11 comments:

  1. Oh this post just makes me so sad. Too many friends have died of breast cancer, drunk driving accidents (always the victims), etc. I hope it helps you to be with the other women in the group at the memorial. Remember Shannon as vibrant and alive!

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  2. yes! too young indeed. I'm glad you get to go to Dallas and remember her.

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  3. What a sad, poignant post. I wish you and your friends much comfort tomorrow.

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  4. I'm so glad you are going to make it for the service. Shannon was always so sweet and I appreciated how she welcomed you to the AGD house with open arms. Heart breaking for you and your girlfriends . . . perspective for all of us.

    Amy

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to your friends. I was ready to post that comment and then as I was reading the others, I noticed the comment about the AGD house and realized (if that is Alpha Gamma Delta as I assume) we are sisters too. God bless and comfort you in your grief. Loyally, Susan

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  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish you peace.

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  7. I'm so sorry, my mom is battling breast cancer and one of my good friends is nearing the end of her battle - it's terribly hard to watch (knowing we can't do anything, other than be supportive and nuturing).

    Hug your kids, and know it's okay to focus all of yourself on the grief you must feel right now. Books can wait (along with all the other silly things that fill our days).

    Hugs, Mari

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  8. My friend, my heart aches for you. I know how important girlfriends are. You are far too young to have lost two friends in the same year.
    I send you all the love in the world.

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss - I hope you can take comfort in friends and shared memories this weekend.

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  10. Despite the sadness of this post, I'm filled with joy that you and yours friends made an opportunity to celebrate Shannon's life-while she was living. What a courageous woman she was to look death in the face, and with her actions, say: "No, I will not allow pity to overtake me. Friends, let us come together, eat, drink, and be merry."

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  11. I agree with your last paragraph and with the comments above. I am sorry you are going through this. It is a bizarre thing to have people our age dying. I knew it would happen eventually, but not so fast.

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