Monday February 4, 2013

I am finding a free minute to sit down and write an update.  It has been another busy weekend of activity, but Monday is here, which, in my job, is actually a good thing!

I started week three of radiation today.  Dan is accompanying me every day when he's in town.  The women who work at Desk R are always happy to see him, as he chats them up and makes them laugh.  He's a social guy, and he's very Shannon-like in his ability to light up a room.  In contrast, when I'm there alone, I bury my head in a book and quietly wait my turn.  Opposites attract, I suppose, and we make a good pair.

We are coming off another busy weekend of Shannon Cup activities.  After all is said and done, we will have raised more than $5200 for the Shannon Fund.  We can't say thanks enough to all the volunteers who spent their time manning our merchandise table.

We took in several Shannon Cup hockey games this weekend, and although the big story is still painful and sad, there are so many little stories that bring joy.

We watched the 12A team fight like hell to win their last round robin game because these girls, all of whom skated with Shannon, wanted to play for the Shannon Cup.  They fell in the last two minutes 3-2, and we could see how crushed they were.  They wanted to do it for Shannon, for us.  We shared a little message with these girls before their third place game the next morning:  Shannon lost plenty of games and she never handled it very well!  But, for her, the best part was getting back out there on the ice with your friends and doing it all again.  Those 12A girls won the third place game and left the rink with smiles on their faces.

We watched the 12B Rebels team, too.  This was the team Shannon played on her last two years, and a couple of these girls played with Shannon in her final season.  The Rebels made it to the championship and the game was tied at the end of regulation.  Overtime couldn't break the tie, so a shootout would determine the champion.  The Rebels came through!  Dan and I were so pleased to be there handing over the Shannon Cup to a Rochester team.

The best part of this story is the fact that before the game, a mom overheard the locker room pep talk the Rebels were giving themselves.  They were facing a team they had lost to twice already this year, and in the locker room they said "Not today.  Not in our rink.  We're doing this for Shannon!"  Dan and I noticed the girls sporting their Shannon Cup t-shirts under their jerseys in that championship game.  Maybe a little angel helped them out...

Two other Rochester teams - the 10A and 10B - also won their Shannon Cup tournaments this weekend.  The future of Rochester girl's hockey is bright.  The girls on these teams are too young to have played with Shannon, but they are all coming to know her story.

That 10A team posted a video after their victory.  The camera person asks the team, "Who did you girls play for?" And all 14 girls smile and yell, "SHANNON!"

Seeing these girls makes us so happy and so sad.  I don't know how else to explain it.  Dan and I love and miss her so much, and yet we know that seeing others carry on in her memory is the best we can hope for, and it's a way to honor her.  So, it does bring us joy in a heartbreaking way.

One final story from the weekend:  Our friend Kari Grafstrom was working at the merchandise table on Sunday and this young girl, who obviously played for a U10 team, was looking over the t-shirts.  She looked at Kari and said, "Did you know Shannon?"  Kari smiled and told the girl that, yes, she knew Shannon.  The little girl smiled back at Kari and said, "Oh, you are so lucky!"

Yes, yes we are...