Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Donald Ray Shannon.....

Monday morning my father in law, Don, passed away. He has been quite ill with cancer and his body finally gave up. I know without a doubt that he is at peace and with our Father in Heaven. A friend of mine suggested that sometimes death is merciful and in this case I think it was. Cancer is a horrible disease that no one should have to suffer through. The toll it takes on the person who has it as well as the loved ones who take care of them is almost too much to bear. It has been a difficult road since Don was diagnosed last June. We have been far away in SLC and unable to help but our hearts were always there. Im so glad Denver had the opportunity to be there for 2 weeks over Christmas to spend time with his dad. It will mean so much to him as he goes through this experience. I know it hurt him not being able to be there at the end.

Don was a very interesting man. I remember the first time I met him I was scared to death. I had a difficult time understanding him because of his thick southern accent and on top of that he is a big man with a deep voice and likes to play jokes and I wasnt quite sure how to take him. His first order of business on this visit was to show me the scariest parts of Kentucky that he could find. He enjoyed watching my eyes get bigger and bigger as I was taken to parts of the mountains that felt like third world countries. He would tell me stories that hardly seemed like they could be true and enjoyed watching my reaction. New Years Eve he brought out the gun. I didnt know what to do and he just laughed and laughed. He got a real kick out of scaring this "big city girl". I was so nervous.....but underneath all of this scarcasm was an incredibly tender man. He loved his family deeply and loved my children with everything that he had. I am so grateful that we were able to live with them for a year so my boys were able to get to know "Dadi" and have some memories of him. Addison wasnt born yet but she has spent time with him on 2 different vacations and now whenever she sees pictures of anyone from Kentucky she always asks about "Dadi".... Don and I butted heads a couple of times while we lived there for that year....it was because we are actually more alike than either of us wanted to admit. Don was stuck in his ways and so am I....but I learned to really appreciate this about him and I wish I would have told him that before he passed. He lived a simple life full of family and friends and love. He was a faithful member of our church and I know that he will be blessed for that. He will be dearly missed by many....... I hope he knew that I loved him.

9 comments:

Alisha said...

What a great tribute to Don...he was everything you said!

Turleyfam said...

That was really nice Vanessa. Will you all go to Kentucky for the funeral?

Melanie said...

That was a sweet tribute. I'm sorry he is gone but you are right - maybe it was a mercy in his situation so he doesn't have to suffer any longer.

Mary Kelly said...

When my dad passed away from cancer, one of the nurses who cared for him told my mom an analogy. It compared people who suffer from cancer and die and are released as angels to the little caterpillar who spins a cocoon and is released as a butterfly. Since then i have not been able to see a butterfly without thinking of my dad. My heart is with you.

pete/chris whipple said...

My heart hurts for Denver, you and the kids... please know of my love and prayer.

Anonymous said...

I am deeply sadden at the news of Don's passing. He was such a warm and tender person. I will pray for God to give everyone the strength to bare this pain.
You did a great job with the Tribute to him.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all,
Trena

Wyatts said...

Vanessa I hope all has gone well and that you traveled safely. I'm assuming you all went? Sorry for your family's loss.

K19 said...

Vanessa & Denver- SO sorry for your family's loss! Love you guys & will keep you ALL in our prayers!

H2K FAMILY BLOG said...

Tears, you said it beautifully. I am so sorry, for your kids, yours and Denvers loss. Your in our prayers.