Memorial Weekend In Review

Our holiday weekend was a busy one. Most events centered around the Med City races here in Rochester. The festivities kicked off Saturday morning with the Kids Run which Erin, her three pals Emily, Katie, and Lindsey, her cousin Laurynn, and several hundred other elementary and middle schoolers took part in.  As the 1.2 mile race approached, Shannon looked at Dan and I and said, "I want to run" - she went from spectator to participant. Instead of watching these girls run for her in shirts bearing her name, Shannon ran with them. Ok, not exactly with them - she wasn't about to let Erin or her fifth grade friends beat her! Crossing the finish line, she was smiling from ear to ear ...

The afternoon was spent picnicking in the park behind the Mayo Civic Arena. 50 or so friends and family showed up and donned "I love Shannon" shirts.  Both sets of Shannon and Erin's grandparents, 9 aunts and uncles, 10 cousins, 2 great uncles, Dan's friends from high school, our maid of honor... while Shannon doesn't mind the attention, and she certainly understands why we are all gathering, she doesn't necessarily want or need to talk about it. She just wants to laugh and smile and enjoy people's company. So we did. And at 3:00, on a gorgeous spring day, we all hit the street in our Shannon shirts for the Med City 5K.

Sunday brought more Med City events - Dan and his brother Tim ran the half marathon. There were people wearing "Shannon" shirts everywhere!  Some we knew, some we didn't:  co-workers, church friends, school friends, old babysitters, even a golf teammate's boyfriend wore one.   The idea for the shirts was to allow us to show support for Shannon but also to raise awareness for Brains Together for a Cure, a local non-profit that funds Mayo Clinic research. Maybe we can all wear these shirts again in October for BTFC's 5th Annual Brain Tumor Walk. Last year their grant money went to Dr. Nadia Laack, Shannon's radiation oncologist.  

Check it out -

Shannon and Erin and cousin Laurynn cheered on Dan and Tim in the half marathon with signs and loud cheers at the 6 mile, 8 mile, and 10 mile marks.  As we were waiting at each spot, several Shannon shirts would pass and we would give them an extra loud cheer. We watched Dan and Tim cross the finish line, hand in hand, arms held high.

Dan must have trained well for this race and seemed no worse for the wear. By the afternoon, he was even up for a little golf. So me, Dan, my brother Eric, and my dad played 18 holes. And guess who joined us? After 39 days of chemo and 27 radiation treatments, Shannon played the first 18 hole round of her life. Did I mention she's determined?

So a successful gathering for family and friends is behind us, and now we look ahead. But not too far. The final four days of healing are this week. I'm struck by how fast this has gone and how much ground we have covered. The knowledge we've gained, the relationships we've developed or rekindled, the awareness about who we are and who we mean to be. The longest six weeks of my life have flown by.

Making the most of each day leaves little idle time...