Sunday October 7, 2012

Yesterday marked nine months since Shannon's passing and the Brains Together For A Cure walk brought together family and friends to support us an remember Shannon.  There were aunts and uncles and cousins and hockey teammates of Shannon and basketball teammates of Erin and teachers and classmates of both girls.

Dan was the keynote speaker and he spoke about awareness and gratitude.  He talked about how relationships - connecting with others - is what matters most in this world.  He recognized the connection of those people there in that room who had all been touched by brain cancer in some way, and he encouraged everyone to continue to live each day being aware of what is around you and grateful for the good in our lives.

I did my first public speaking about Shannon, reading a piece I wrote for the book.  I read the opening to the chapter titled, Hope.  My message was there is always something to look towards, to work towards.  There is always a reason for hope.  Dan and I received some nice feedback afterwards, and that felt good.

Awareness, gratitude, hope... these things carry us through and help us keep getting up each day and doing the best we can.

We also shared the news that we are starting our own foundation in memory of Shannon.  We have filed for incorporation and once that's approved, we will apply for non profit status that will allow us to increase our fundraising efforts in Shannon's memory.  Check it out at:

We have already committed to our scholarship efforts with Rochester Youth Hockey, but what if we can do more?  What if we can help fund brain tumor research each year?  What if we can grow the fund big enough to help out more local youths through donations to other endeavors in Shannon's honor?  What if?  We feel compelled to do good things in her memory, so this is a start.

So, after an emotional week, we ended on the upswing.  It's been a good weekend sharing our story and remembering Shannon, and we had lots of help.  Thanks to Team Shannon for being at the walk yesterday.  Especially those hockey teammates who came directly from tryouts, all sweaty yet ready to laugh and cry with us.  And a special thanks to Shannon's classmates who came out to walk.  Seeing those 9th graders - especially the boys - there to honor Shannon was pretty damn cool.  I love that you liked my kid and you're not afraid to show it.

People were remembering Shannon in other ways on Saturday, too.  We saw many posts acknowledging the 9 month anniversary date.  And, as Shannon's friends dressed up for the homecoming dance, they were remembering the one who was missing, and in their own way, they were taking Shannon with them...