Thank you for

Our Shannon


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April 5, 2006

Hello My Love

Here we are, and yet another year has passed. Today I'm going to spend your 31st birthday revisiting the places we went to on your 23rd birthday, your last one here with me in person. What fun we had driving in circles in D.C. looking for a parking space at the Escher exhibit, and then fretting the whole time for fear the van would be towed.
We were like country does city at Tyson's Galleria and even though you could have chosen any place for lunch, you chose Burger King. We laughed about how even the "rich people's" Burger King served the same Whopper Jr. We were so blessed to have that day together, neither of us knowing that in less than a month you would be gone.
Oh how I miss you.
You know, I was brave when you were here. Eight years have passed so quickly and yet it seems like an eternity. I'm nervous about taking on the city, but I know you'll be watching... I think I just need a day to remember and be grateful.
Life is such a gift. Despite the everpresent lonliness for the sound of your voice, I know that you are good... happy, and loving me through the sad days.

I just wanted to indulge myself for a moment and write a note to Heaven. Thank you for understanding the tears... for knowing that my heart overflows more often because of the joy of loving you and the people you have brought into my life, than for sorrow. Thank you for the Whispers that assure my heart that love is forever and we never have to say "Good-bye". And thank you my precious child for choosing me to be your Mom for a lifetime. You fill my life with promise and joy. Happy Birthday my Nan. I love you.

June 12,2005
I would like to thank Jim Warren, the artist who created the original "Earth, Love It or Lose It".
This morning, as I was reframing Shannon's colored pencil version, the one she gave me for my 39th birthday, and displayed on this web page, I discovered a note written on the back,
"original by Jim Warren".
I know that she would have wanted us to express our appreciation to Jim for his inspiration, I'm only sorry that I was unable to do it earlier.

Once upon a time, I saw a tiny picture in a catalog, offering the print for sale and showed it to Shannon. We were so touched, not only with the artwork, but the message it held. I had no idea until later, how much Shannon had admired the piece. For months she secretly worked on this special gift for me, and I will always cherish it.

April 5, 2005

Hello Again, This morning, I want to celebrate Shannon's thirtieth birthday by extending my heartfelt gratitude to each of you. Over the past seven years, we have been lifted by the whispers of our Angel, but we have been encouraged and inspired by all of you. Your e-mails and cards, those moments taken from your busy day to let us know that Shannon is still busy, touching your hearts and sharing hers, mean more than you will ever know.

Saturday, we "re-dressed" Shannon's Garden. New photos, new ribbons, new wind chimes and a renewed sense of hope. Both Jules' family and my own were here to celebrate our Shannon. We had thunderstorms and rainbows. The tulip magnolia and daffodils were in full bloom and we watched family movies together. My heart was so full.

As everyone was leaving and I walked back into the house, I heard Shannon's laughter. For a moment I was unable to move. What an incredibly beautiful sound. It took a few moments to realize that we had left the video playing and Shannon and her Gram were laying on the hammock giggling together about some long forgotten secret.

This year, I sent a small candle home with everyone. I wish you could have all been with us, but I want to share the thought and the wish, so that you can be a part of our continuing journey...

"From every human being, there rises a light that reaches straight to Heaven."

Each time we light this candle, may it be a reminder of the love and light and joy that fills our days. A reminder of all that really matters, and all that we are grateful for. A reminder that love is forever and we are never alone. I know that Shannon is with us as we celebrate loving her and having her love us.

Thank you , Thank you, Thank you for our Shannon.
Happy Birthday Love.

April 5, 2005

January 14, 2004

Dear Friends, I want to wish each of you a New Year filled with promise and hope. This past year passed so quickly...

So often we will visit a web site just to check in, to see how our friends are doing and I've been sadly remiss in updating this wonderful spot that Julane, created for us almost five years ago. What I have planned for sometime has finally happened and I am enrolled in a Web Design class this semester hoping to add to what she so lovingly started for us. Give me a few days and visit I would love your input and suggestions.

We continue to add beautiful Angels to Shannon's garden and the network of support that their families provide for us, means more than I can express.

This year we have been asked to serve as Donor Family Liaisons for Team Virginias to the 2004 Transplant Games which will be held in Minneapolis in July/August. I hope you will hold all of our Donor Families and Athelets in your hearts.

This is such an honor for us, both in celebration of lives continuing, and in honoring the memories of those who gave the Gift of Life.

I continue to be lifted by your notes and e mail... there are still so many lonely moments, and yet Shannon seems to have a way of bringing someone into my life, just when I need them most. What I hope, is that I am also that person to someone else, when the need is theirs.

We would never have chosen to move through this life without Nan... but what I still hold as my foremost thought, is that she is watching, whispering and smiling, and I want her to be proud of us.

Thank you for always opening your hearts to us. In these busy days, it is so easy to forget what really matters...we only have this moment, and it is precious beyond words. Thank you for all that you mean to us.

Jan and Jules

April 5, 2002

I've been struggling for an hour with how to say all that I feel and I have finally surrendered to the reality that that is not possible... so I'll just ramble a bit.

Today is Shannon's twenty-seventh birthday and tonight we will celebrate with family and friends at a wonderful little restaurant that gives us a room to ourselves and enjoys the fact that our guest of honor is "invisible". Shannon loved giving gifts and so we drew names and will exchange gifts with one another, for her.

Yesterday, Shannon received a birthday card. I knew from the writing that it was from her best friend and I love her so for the gesture.

There will be moments today, when we will all want to celebrate Shannon's birth with her... to hold her and hear her laugh... to give her traditional gifts and eat cake, but more moments will be spent remembering how truly wonderful she is, and thanking God for the gift of twenty-three years.

I want to thank each of you for your part in our continuing journey. You continue to bless us by opening your hearts to us and to one another.

Jules and I continue to add Angels to Shannon's garden and it is such an honor to be able to share so many memories.

I wish for each of you the gift of love and light and ask that today, you appreciate a moment, for Shannon.

Happy Birthday My Angel.

January 27, 2002

This morning, as I sit at the computer, the chickadees and titmice are visiting the window feeder. The sun is bright, Em is sleeping at my feet and I feel a new sense of pupose awakening in my heart.

One of my plans for this year is to update and add to Shannon's website. So many wonderful people, new friends, have been unfailing in their love and support, and miracles continue to be born of our tragedy.
Miracles I want to share.

I'm still struggling with web "stuff", and I'll get there, but until then, I wanted you all to know that we're still here... still missing our sweet Angel, but feeling her inspiration and encouragement more with every day.

A dear friend, Bob's Mom, sent me a calendar for Christmas, and today's message says,

"Give thanks for those generous spirits who take ordinary moments and make them shine." Flavia

This morning, I am grateful to all of you who have taken my darkest moments and made them shine, and embraced Shannon and shared with us all that her gentle wisdom has meant to you.

With so much love,


April 5, 2001

Today is Shannon's twenty-sixth birthday, our third one without her.

There is something very surreal about the passage of time... your mind knows, but your heart is so intricately connected to the one you love, that it seems to have no real meaning.

There have been days that despite my best effort, I wanted to give up, surrender to the sorrow that is inevitable... but she would have none of that.

Our Shannon was outspoken and opinionated and courageous and gentle and wise and so very loving.
I know that she has had a hand in bringing each of you into our lives.

Her journal and her artistic vision, were gifts that she entrusted to us... gifts that have opened a world of love and support that we could never have imagined.

I can never Thank You enough.

This year, I hope to update the website to include more photographs and sources of inspriation and hope... continue to make bookmarks and as always, look forward to each and every letter and e mail.

Our Angel Trees survived the winter and yesterday I noticed that sparrows are building a nest in one of them.

Next month, all of the photos will be moved into the garden and once the birds have moved, we'll plant the trees... a living memorial to those we love and hold so dear.

There are one hundred and twenty Angels gracing our trees and the love that their families have shared with us and everyone who visits is amazing.

Last night I was outside with Em and realized that each star, is probably a candle in a window of Heaven, placed there by someone we love, to show us the way home... to let us know that they are waiting. Always loving us. The thought gave me such peace.

Each of you mean so very much to us... thank you for helping us to keep our hearts open and full, and Shannon's spirit bright.

Happy Birthday My Angel

Jan and Jules

Remembering Her Spirit   

Shannon Page Two   The Angel Tree   Global Art Project   Bookmarks

The sites below have helpful, loving information and alternatives to sitting in sorrow...

Donor Moms    Donor Family Message Board

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Transplantation Resource

Tribute Page that Shannon's kidney recipient created for her.


ANGEL HUGS, Help, Hope and Hugs for Grieving Parents

Everything on these pages is original and copyrighted, do not take anything without written permission from Shannon's parents