I am not going to try to summarize Shannon's life over the next
few minutes, because it would be an impossible task. She has
accomplished more in her 29 years on this Earth, than most people
could hope to accomplish in ten lifetimes.
Shannon's mission in life was to help others, who like her had
been diagnosed with cancer. Her other mission was to inspire
people to improve their health and live a life of love to the fullest.
Based on the outpouring of support we have been showered with
over the past few days, I can confidently say that she accomplished
both of her life's missions.
Shannon was a self-described - cat loving, tree hugging, outspoken,
healthy, happy survivor who was told that her life would be short...
but she was determined to take control of her situation and
completely ignore the timeline given to her by her doctors.
Her goal was to become completely healthy while helping
everyone she could on the way.
She was many things to many people. To me she was my wife,
my best friend, my soulmate and my hero! If you spent any
length of time with her I can guarantee you walked away a
better person. She had an infectious laugh, and a smile that
could warm your heart.
She touched countless lives, and inspired countless others to
live life to the fullest. She was not defined by her cancer diagnosis,
but did use her diagnosis as a vehicle to share her story with
thousands of people. As easy as it would have been, she never
felt sorry for herself and never adopted a "why me?" mindset.
She always said that she was glad that she was diagnosed. Being
diagnosed at the age of 25 gave her perspective. It allowed her
to focus her energy on what really matters in life. It also allowed
her to meet so many other inspirational and amazing people -
many of whom are in this church today.
Even until the very end, Shannon was more comfortable with the
thought of her passing than she was with the impact that it would
have on her family and friends. We can let her rest at ease, and
honor her memory by living our lives to the fullest...by finding
a silver lining in every situation. Don't let anything, or anybody
hold you back from chasing your dreams. Get outside of your
comfort zone. Challenge yourself, demand the best in life, and
don't let fear or self doubt stand in your way.
Lastly, at the end of each day ask yourself, "Did you do something
that makes you happy today?"...and make sure the answer is YES!