Sunday April 1, 2012

The days have gone quickly since my last post. Thursday was a whirlwind of activity as Grandma and Papa Harkins arrived, and Dan returned home from his work week in Michigan. Friday, Erin, Grandma and I had some girl time that involved pedicures, shopping, and lunch. It was some good quality time for Grandma to be with Erin and see that things are mostly going pretty well for Miss E.

Saturday, Dan and I were able to play a round of golf with Papa and my brother Eric while the grandkids hung out with Grandma and had some cousin time. Saturday evening brought the main event, the Zumbro Valley Bassmasters 7th Annual St. Jude Fundraiser.

Dan O spoke to over 500 people last night, many of whom didn't know Shannon or don't know us. Sure, we had some family and friends in the audience: basketball parents and hockey parents and close friends came to hear Dan's speech. Our families were representing as well - the Harkins clan was all there, two of my aunts and uncles came to be with us, and Dan's sisters Megan and Bridgid made the trip down from the cities to support their kid brother.

But, for the rest of the crowd, Dan told the tale of who Shannon was and why it matters. We played the tribute video done by Chris Conte after Shannon's passing. Dan told stories about playing JV golf and playing for the Rebels. He told stories about the letters we received from kids who were touched by Shannon and her spirit. He told of our experience at St. Jude and why St. Jude is so important in the fight against pediatric cancer. He told the crowd that Shannon's cells are alive and growing in culture and they are helping in the research necessary to find a cure.

Dan spent 30 minutes standing at the podium and I never saw anyone in the audience get up. They were captivated. Those of us who knew Shannon were in tears. Those who didn't know her were in awe. He nailed it. Dan says there's no question, Shannon helped him get through it.

Erin was in the audience, looking so grown up. It's as if she's skipped a few stages and gone right to being a teenager. There were tears flowing for Erin as she watched the video and heard her dad talk about her best friend. The pain is still fresh and real for Miss E...

The other item on the agenda last night was selling some Shannon shirts to raise funds for the scholarship. We enlisted the help of the Rebels and Shannon's buddies Samantha, Paige, and Olivia were up for it. Hard to resist three cute girls raising money in honor of their friend.

So, another day in the journey. Another first - sharing our story to try and help others. It comes back to what would Shannon want us to do, and there's no question - she'd want us to make a difference if we could.

Today the calendar says April. Tomorrow morning we will head out on spring break.