By Patti Brown
Excitedly, I was making my way down the road listening to Home By Phillip Phillips on Pandora. Spending some time with one of the most inspirational women I know made for the makings of a great day.
Do you know Shannon? No?
Well then, for those who haven’t had the honor let me introduce you. Shannon is an intelligent, savvy, feisty, beautiful, loving, passionate woman. A mother of two young boys, TJ who is 9 and Marcus – 7, you’ll swear you’ve met them before because she raves about them at every chance. And…she has a gorgeous husband, Tyler, who is fierce in his devotion and love for her.
I was greeted at the door by two bulldogs: Max, who quickly gave me the once over sniff, approving of my arrival…Maya, on the other hand, wasn’t as convinced; she conveyed this with a slight warning growl. Maya, like a good “mother hen,” took her job seriously; she did however have a right to be cautious. Her master after all, was more vulnerable these days. It was important she felt my ease, my gifts of love and peace for Shannon. Slowly we made our way over to two inviting overstuffed leather chairs. Shannon grabbed a throw to warm her as we talked… I slowly gazed around the room noticing a large framed picture, reading Never Give Up. My heart began to swell with emotion. Gradually, my attention was pulled to the array of framed family pictures layered across the mantle piece. My eyes made their way back to Shannon’s, overflowing with love. We paused for a moment. She talked. I listened. I talked. She listened, as Shannon does with her whole body lighting up, leaning in ever so slightly, inquisitive, attentive, lovingly… Are you starting to get a sense of her yet? I hope so; she’s an amazing woman full of light and love of life. She’s a fighter. She’s determined. She has a strong faith in God and all things that are good in this world.
Shannon also has cancer. A cancer that has reared its ugly head three times. THREE times! A cancer that has tried to knock her down relentlessly. And, each time she has come back swinging harder, fiercer. I could see it in her eyes….. the light, the hope, the fight mixed with some weariness. Maya, finally came around, she could feel my quieter presence, my love for her master. Max, continued to be pretty chill, exuberant with flatulence. There we were, the four of us, sitting enjoying precious time together, words spoken, words not spoken. Emotions were stirred, felt and not necessarily needing language.
Did I mention how much Shannon loves working with children? She’s a teacher, the one you always remember and talk about in your adult years. The one who made you feel like you mattered. She’s a fierce advocate. She’s been waiting to run our children’s program for our center, Wellness Within. Unfortunately, we have struggled to procure the funds to make that happen. Well, not yet that is, we’ll never give up. Shannon has advocated for our center for the past year and a half. She’s been known to spontaneously grab the mike at our fundraisers pleading with our guests to donate to our Center so that we can continue to offer our free services. Words fall short to describe my gratitude.
Pausing a moment…… I can barely see the keys as I type. Eyes brimming with emotion, it’s like that when you are speaking of someone for which you have such high regard who is in the fight of her life. She is a beautiful human being in every way possible. I hate that cancer is attacking her body. I love that she has a sign hanging in her family room that reads Never Give Up.
You know, it’s appropriate that Shannon has two bulldogs. She is a bulldog when it comes to fighting for someone or something she believes in. There is no other way for Shannon to do her life but to give it everything she has and then some. Please join me in sending your healing thoughts, prayers, juju or whatever it is you do when you send out a call for assistance.
Never give up believing in the power of miracles, the power of prayer, the power of love, and the power of sending healing light to another. My friend Shannon reminds me of this each and every day.
NEVER GIVE UP!
Breathe it all in with light and love,