Shannon

16 04 2008

On Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 my sister, my friend, a wonderful woman in her own right, past away. Shannon was a marvelous person. She had a devilish sense of humor, loved a good laugh and had a caring spirit. The last time I saw her before this week she showed up at my house wearing a sweatshirt with the statement Mom Loves Me Best printed across it. She patiently waited and pretended not to be watching for my reaction. She was a master at subtle jokes and enjoyed a good pun. She also had a strong desire to travel, enjoy life and bring people together.

I’ve always admired her beautifully graceful hands with lovely long fingers and her dark curly hair. Shannon was a paraplegic from birth as a result of Spina Bifida. This never stopped her from dreaming, loving or laughing. At only 28 years of age she’s now given the ultimate gift of life to three individuals by donating her organs. She has never ceased to amaze me. I’m sending this message out because I want the whole world to know how proud I am of her. I intensely hope that the transplants are successful. May her spirit now go where her legs could never take her.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our friends and family for their support. Their strength, patience, and availability have been incredibly touching. We could not have gotten through this without them. A memorial service and celebration of Shannon’s life will be held later this year. It’s just too much right now. This has been so sudden and unexpected I cannot begin to fully write how wonderful of a person Shannon was. She will live in our hearts forever.

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49 responses

17 04 2008
Cassi

Anna,
I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine what you are going through right now but my thoughts are with you. Your sister sounds like such a wonderful person and will be missed terribly.
Hugs,
Cassi

17 04 2008
deezie

Oh my!!! There is not much to say to someone who has just lost someone so dear to them is there, no there isn’t . I can only say how sorry I am. Her hands are quite beautiful by the way. I lost my mom recently so I know the loss you are feeling there is none like it. I will be praying for you and your family at this time. Take care
deezie

17 04 2008
kathryn

Oh Anna,

My heart just sank when I read your email. This post is such a beautiful tribute to Shannon who really lit up a room with her gentle, funny spririt. I feel blessed to have met her when she was in town and know that the world is truly missing an important member of the tribe. Please give my love to your parents, Laura and Ellie, Steve and the kids. Let me know if there is anything the pARTy girls can do to help you as you return home. Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, babysitting or a toast to Shannon, I’m here whatever you need. My heart is with you all and with the doctors and nurses that will bring Shannon’s legacy to three people in need. Shannon’s spirit will endure in them and in your hearts.

17 04 2008
Anna Yamaura

Dear Anna,
I am so sorry to read about the loss of your sister. My thoughts are with you and your family. It is also wonderful to read that she also gifted life to others.

17 04 2008
Diana

Dear Anna,

We are so sorry about the loss of Shannon. She was so sweet. I only met her a few times but her sense of humor was always shown. She had a great laugh. Let us know if there is anything we can do. It is wonderful that she is giving life to others. Our prayers are with you and your family as well as our prayers go out to the families that will be receiving transplants. May God comfort you.

Diana

17 04 2008
Jenn

Anna – I am so sorry for your loss. If there is anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask. Jenn

17 04 2008
Lea Hendricks

Dear Anna,
I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. You wrote a beautiful tribute to her. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Lea Hendricks

17 04 2008
Neal

I’ve been thinking of all of you, Kolodzieskis, and am down at the passing of Shannon. Your memories and stories bring a smile to me, remembering my impressions of this sweet, young women. It is beautiful that Shannon lives on in the transplant recipients; giving more than one receives. Love, Neal

17 04 2008
Heather

Anna,

My heart aches for you and your family; I am so sorry for your loss. Your words about Shannon are beautiful. My thoughts are with you and your family and those receiving Shannon’s gifts.

Heather

17 04 2008
Nancy McCarroll

I am on a Google alert for spina bifida topics, hence I was directed to your blog. I am sorry to hear of Shannon’s death, but know she has had a life of purpose which many in this world will never know. I have a 37 yr. old daughter with SB, also married to a man with SB. Both are in wheelchairs. She has been in bed for the most part of 18 months with pressure sores, etc. She is facing a major surgery for the removal of her bladder.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I will keep you on my bloglist for checking in periodically. I also knit and have a knitting and crafting blog. God bless, Nancy

17 04 2008
sara

Anna and family,
you have been in my thoughts all week and my heart goes out to you in this difficult time of loss. I know you will always carry her in your heart and memories and it will be nice to know that parts of her will live on bringing strength to others.
Sara

17 04 2008
Katrina

Anna,

My thoughts are with you as you and your family as you grieve the loss of your sister. Sisterhood is truly a gift full of memories, sharing and love.

Katrina (your work sister)

17 04 2008
Alan

You described Shannon to me a few times years ago. Now I understand how she inspired you to embrace life for all the good it offers. I also believe you did the same for her. The most wonderful thing is how people like you pass these gifts on to friends. Shannon’s ultimate gift of life goes far beyond the organ donations. Everyone who knew her, or knows you, has a gift to be treasured.

May your grieving and healing be healthy additions to your being.

17 04 2008
Yared Rikitu

Anna, I am so sorry for your loss. I mate Shannon one time & she was a beautiful & wonderful girl. Shannon is know in good hands.
You are in my thougths & prayers.
Yared

17 04 2008
Gigi

I am so sorry for loosing your dear sister. May Jehovah’s spirt comfort you and your family. Though your are separtated by our enemy death, there is a hope of resurrection that our Creator promises. I am deeply touch by her story. Hope to see you soon Anna.

Gigi

17 04 2008
Aaronica

Anna,

I am really sorry to hear about your sister. I know you guys are really close. I am planning to send you a picture of my socks today with hopes that it puts a smile on your beautiful face for just a second.

Take care,
Aaronica

17 04 2008
Marie Holton

Anna,

My heart goes out to you and your family as you deal with the loss of your precious sister. She sound like a beautiful woman and how wonderful that her spirit will live on not only in those who will be helped by the transplants, but in all whose lives she touched. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Marie Holton

17 04 2008
Al Alexander

Anna,
What beautiful tribute to your sister. She will continue to live on through her
selfless gift to benefit the lives others. It is a great testimony about the kind of life she lived.
The prayers of your Fanklin Bank family are with you. We share your sorrow.

Al

17 04 2008
Lori LeCount

Dearest Anna –

I remember you telling me about shopping for maguarita fixings and glasses for Shannon’s 21st birthday while we took our walk around the neighborhood.

I am certain you are right that Shannon’s spirit will be everywhere she couldn’t get to on her legs, including with you always.

Lori

17 04 2008
Jen

Ellie and family-

I just wanted you all to know I am thinking of you! I didn’t get to meet Shannon, but have heard many wonderful and funny stories about her through Ellie. She’s giving the most altruistic gift ever. Thank you to your family and Shannon for being so generous!

17 04 2008
Shelda

Anna,
You and your family have been on my mind constant. I am so sorry. There are no words to explain the feeling when you lose some one so dear to you. Your tribute was so beautiful. Shannon was truely a beautiful person and so blessed to have such a loving and caring family. My heart goes out to you and your family and the days ahead. Please accept my deepest sympathies and please let me know if there is anything i can do.

17 04 2008
Jodi

Anna – my heart goes out to you and your family. I have felt your pain and if you ever need someone to talk to I am always here. I cannot imagine the gift she will be giving to those she will be helping through the transplants..that is truely amazing. God Bless you in your time of sorrow. Take care of you and your family. She will live forever in your hearts.
Jodi

17 04 2008
Tracy

Oh Anna,

My eyes just welled up with tears reading about your sweet beautiful, spunky sister Shannon. I’m am so sorry that you and your family have to go through this tragedy. Shannon has given an amazing gift of life to others. This is truely a wonderful gift. God bless her that she is now free. Praying for comfort for you and your family during the immense greiving. I love you Anna!!! If you need ANYTHING at anytime, please call me!!!

Love,
Tracy

17 04 2008
Maggie C.

Anna,

I am terribly sorry to hear of your sister’s passing. I remember you sharing many stories about her with me. I can’t imagine losing anyone, not to mention a sister, at such a young age. I will be thinking of you and your family during this period of grief.

17 04 2008
jen s

anna, i am so sorry that i was out of touch while this was all going on. i feel so badly for you and your family. i’m thinking of you, and please let me know if there’s anything i can do! jen

17 04 2008
kristin

oh Anna…i am heart broken for you. i’m so very sorry for your loss. the love between sisters is like none other…proof of that is in your loving tribute to her. i will hold you and your family in my thoughts.

17 04 2008
Yewbi/Abiye

Anna,

Our deepest sympathy and sincere condolenses to reach the entire family by the lose of your beloved one. May God rests her sole in peace and we will remember you in our prayers during this difficult time.

Yewbi & Abiye

17 04 2008
Yewbi

Anna,

I am very sorry to hear the loss of your sister form Shelda. I am extending deep and heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. Blessed are those mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) May it be a source of inner strength to know that there’s a living God watching over you, and that, throughout this time of need, He’ll stay close by your side. Anna, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss and sadness.

Take care,

Yewbi

17 04 2008
Rebecca

I am so sorry for your loss. I am a freind of Shannon’s. I met her through Jill. It is so hard to believe that she is gone. You and your family will be in my family’s prayers. God be with you in your time of loss.
Rebecca

18 04 2008
martha

Anna,
What a lovely tribute to your sister. I am so sorry for your loss. I only met Shannon a few times, but I remember as you describe her -funny and always joking. I love the sweatshirt story:)
We’re thinking of you and your family, and again let me know if there is anything we can do.

18 04 2008
Kristen

My thoughts are with you.

18 04 2008
Heather Bergstrom

Anna-
I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your sister. She sounds like she was a truly amazing woman. What a gift that she and your family were willing to give hope and life to others by donating her organs and thinking of others even in the midst of your grief. I feel truly lucky to call you my friend. May you find peace in knowing that there are so many people thinking of you and praying for you during this time.

18 04 2008
Alison Innes

Anna,

My sincerest condolences for the loss of your sister, Shannon. She sounds like a wonderful person, and I am sure anyone who knew her is all the better for having had her in their lives. What a tremendous legacy she has left through organ donation. Thank you for sharing your lovely tribute to Shannon.

Take care,
Alison

18 04 2008
TRAVIS

Anna,

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss… My thoughts and prayers are with you!!

-Travis

19 04 2008
Martha

My deepest sympathies to you and your family during this difficult time of loss.
Your dear sister, Shannon sounds like she was a gem!
I am holding you in my thoughts and prayers.
Martha

19 04 2008
Melissa (McMains) Stuedemann

To all who knew and did not receive the opportunity to know one of my best friends: Shannon and I grew up together through school all the way to graduating high school only 9 years ago. She smiled when she spoke. One of my favorite memories was racing her wheel chair down the hall at school (and rarely getting caught.). When we were much littler, we and Jill Albritton spent time playing at my house on quite a few occasions. As we got older, we spent much more time on schoolwork and saw each other less frequently. Just recently, Shannon and I got together because Shannon had a dream to start a band. Even though it didn’t work out, it was fun for us to dream. There’s quite a bit I remember about her, but right now, I lack the words to express it. If I had to sum up Shannon in one sentence, I would say: “Shannon was friendly to those around her, sometimes a bit rebellious, but she was always a joy to me and I wouldn’t give back any moment of it.” I will definitely miss her!

19 04 2008
Lynn

I have known Shannon for many years through our spina bifida group in Bloomington. The older girls in the group were always an inspiration to us with younger children. Shannon always was full of ideas for our group and she will be greatly missed. Lynn

20 04 2008
threesneakybugs

Thank you everyone for your heartfelt thoughts. Whether they were comments here, emails, or in person favors. We really appreciate your kindness. I love hearing the stories like Melissa’s which help me to know that Shannon did have a full life.

20 04 2008
smoothpebble

Anna, please accept my thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. It sounds like she was a lovely, warm, and funny person. I hope your memories of her will sustain you through this time. Take care, Jackie

20 04 2008
Vicki Tilton

You know my heart aches for you and the whole family. My staff loved when Shannon came in to get her hair cuts. She wowed them with her new wheels this past year and we laughed when she told us about a few bumps on the walls at home until she got the hang of such power! :-) She was like a teen ager with a new car, especially because she could change the color panals…very exciting and fun!!
I had such a bond with Shannon because your mom and I shared our pregnancies and births (Casey and Shannon are only two days apart) and Shannon always wanted to hear more about the babies being born at Fox & Hounds (seven girls in the last three years and four more, 2 boys, 2 girls due by August first.) She always loved giving me updates on the nieces and nephews and was always shopping for gifts for someone. It was not a task to be taken lightly; serious thought went into every item she purchased and its appropriateness for the recipient. I too admired her hands and once thought that she might make a good manicurist because her nails were always so beautiful. We will truly miss her at Fox & Hounds and many many prayers are being offered up by family and friends there. God Bless you all, vlt

20 04 2008
Jeri Ronayne

Anna, So sorry to hear of the loss of your sister Shannon. What a lovely tribute you wrote about her. She was so young I know you will miss you so much. Think of her as being able to dance in heaven as she couldn’t here on earth. How happy she must be.

I just lost my mother today. Not the same however, since she was 95 and had lived a long full life and it was time for her to leave this earth. However, when you love someone it is always sad to see them go.

Your friend, Jeri

21 04 2008
Deborah S. Wilson

Please accept my deepest condolences for your untimely loss.

21 04 2008
Cheryl Alexander

My deepest condolences for you loss. I knew Shannon from Fox and Hounds when I worked there. Shannon always brought a smile to my face when she came in. My thoughts are with your family at this time. She is now a special angel!!!
Mama Cheryl

21 04 2008
Meighan Hopper

I work at Fox N Hounds and though I don’t know you personally I did know Shannon. She was a very sweet, high spirited individual and I know I will miss seeing her in the salon. My heart goes out to you and your family right now. You will continue to be on our prayer list that you and your family find peace in knowing she is in a better place than we are. Though she will be missed terribly she will be smiling down on all of us that she touched for many years to come until we can join her.
May peace be with you and your family at such a hard time,
Meighan Hopper

22 04 2008
Karen Shaw

To All of Shannon’s Family & Friends,
I am an instructor at Heartland Community College & have had the pleasure of knowing Shannon through our Peer Partners Program. She always had a desire to be paired up with a partner each semester and make a new friend – I saw her smile and laugh many times because of the friends she had made here on campus. Despite her disabilities and life struggles, Shannon was determined and many people learned a great deal from her due to that. We will be remembering Shannon on campus this week by collecting donations for the Spina Bifida Association.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,
Karen Shaw

22 04 2008
Jen b

i am really sorry about your sister anna.

26 04 2008
Lil' d

I am so so sorry for your loss. She sounds like such a wonderful person. Take care.

5 05 2008
Kris Anderson

Anna,
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. I don’t know what to say other than I know it must be difficult because you were close to your sister; I pray you will sense God’s comfort in your life. What a special person she must have been!

Take care, Anna. You are in my prayers,
Kris Anderson

9 05 2008
DICK CERCONE

ANNA,
AUNT ELAINE AND I , AND A LOT OF HER COUSINS GOT TO BE WITH SHANNON AT HER COUSINS WEDDING. SHE WAS HAVING A GOOD TIME, AND HAPPY TO BE WITH FAMILY. SHE WILL CERTAINLY BE MISSED BY ALL OF US. WE ARE SURE SHE IS IN A BETTER PLACE NOW.
UNCLE DICK




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