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Memorial


5/20/00
Our precious Shannon, a child of God, went to be with her heavenly Father this morning on this beautiful sunny day in Boston. While we grieve deeply over our loss as it effects us personally here on earth, we rejoice that Shannon is no longer in pain and that she is now experiencing the glory of heaven. No more excruciating medical procedures, multiple medications and anxiety over what comes next. Our darling daughter is now healed.

 

The memories and gifts Shannon leaves behind to her family, friends and even to many who have not personally met her, but have been encouraged by her story, are too many to list. But several are special: her exceptional smile; her bubbling personality; her beauty, with or without hair; her upbeat attitude; her sense of humor; her courage in the face of trials; her zest for life; her love for sushi; her faith in God; her fetish for hats; her love of her job; her optimism and confidence; her spontaneity; her inspiration to others; her love as a daughter and sister; and her ability to cultivate instant friendships.
 
It has been a long, difficult struggle the past 15 months, but in so many ways the journey was the best of her life. I'd like to reflect on this in some depth at a later date after things return to some level of normalcy for us; perhaps you will find it uplifting and encouraging in some way. Let me close by sharing Shannon's favorite scripture, which she repeated often and held close to her heart over the past 15 months: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6.
 
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Shannon may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Bone Marrow Transplant Research, in memory of Shannon Mosher, 1309 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 02446. Your prayers for our family are appreciated.
 
Stuart


Thoughts on Passing
It was the second toughest week of our lives, as her family and closest friends laid Shannon to rest in a private graveside service at Peachtree Memorial Park in Norcross, GA last Thursday afternoon. The memorial service on Saturday provided some measure of relief from the pain, as it gave us all an opportunity to celebrate the uniqueness and special qualities of Shannon's life. It also provided reassurances from God's Word that there is hope for the future to all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. What a joy it will be to spend eternity with Shannon in heaven, after our purpose here on earth has been fulfilled. Won't you join us?!
 
The week before last was, of course, the toughest on us all as family members and her boyfriend, Shea, stood by Shannon's bedside Saturday morning as she slowly slipped away. While we were assured that she was in no pain, that did little to remove the agonizing pain that we all felt in those final moments. Tears were flowing as we tried to give Shannon some final comfort by reading her favorite scripture, Proverbs 3:5-6, and singing "Jesus Loves YOU" and "Amazing Grace" and telling her how much we loved her. It's my prayer that she was able to hear our final farewell and was comforted by it.
 
The grieving has not stopped. It will take some time. But please know that the immediate family members sincerely appreciate the tremendous emotional and prayer support that our extended family, friends and even strangers have
provided during not only the past two weeks but also from the beginning of Shannon's battle with leukemia in February last year. There are some rather remarkable, uplifting things to share about Shannon's 15-month journey that perhaps may relieve some of the pain you feel personally. I'll plan to give you my thoughts about these in the near future.
 
Teresa and I will fly back to Boston next Monday in order to return the leased furniture, cut off the utilities, clean up the apartment, and pack up our personal belongings for the long drive back. We're not looking forward to going back to Boston. A couple of friends of Susan's will also meet us there to help in this effort, which is greatly appreciated. Please pray for traveling mercies and that we can gradually release the sad memories of our time in Boston.
 
In His love,
Stuart
5/29/00
 

Reflections on Shannon

Below are some reflections on Shannon's life that were read at her Memorial Celebration Service on May 27, 2000 that provide a glimpse of her positive attitude, independence, faith in God, sense of humor and beautiful personality, all traits that made Shannon so special and unique to her family and friends. 
 
First, some reflections from Shannon's family that were read by the Reverend Scot Sherman:
 
From the very beginning, Shannon had a certain zest for life and approached everything she did with gusto.  She did not think there was anything she couldn't do. Whether it was training a horse to ride, rebuilding her swing glider, installing a sprinkler system, or mastering the workings of a TV station, she could do it all. She loved the outdoors and animals.  She had a great love for horses and spent her younger years thinking she was one. Summers were spent in Tallahassee and North Carolina. On rainy summer days, Shannon , her brother Scott and cousin Clay would play “Star Wars”.  The boys chose the heroic roles of Luke Skywalker and Hans Solo.  Guess you think Shannon would play the role of the beautiful Princess Leah—not our Shannon—she chose to play a Tan Tan (that’s a horse) and ran around the house for weeks on all fours with a cup on her nose.  That episode only came to an end when a mad chase through the house ended with Shannon running into the wall! 
 
They stayed in the pool ALL summer, Shannon went to bed every night with her hair soaking wet.  They had such great fun.  North Carolina summers gave Shannon a chance to spend with pet horses Champ and Charlie.  The first time she met them she ran up the hill, took one look at Champ, jumped on his back (no saddle), he reared up and the two of them dashed off into the field.  No fear, no hesitation, seizing the moment and getting the most out of it. That’s Shannon.
 
She was proud of the fact that her dog, Braxton, was the most well-behaved dog she knew.  She taught him how to whisper.  Sylvester, her cat, was really a girl—but was named after the cartoon character because of her white paws.  Sylvester was independent like Shannon.  Shannon liked people.  She loved her friends.   She loved her family. She and her older brother, Scott, shared a unique relationship.  They were always very close - with Shannon making most of the decisions - some of which got them in a lot of trouble. 
 
When she moved back to Atlanta in November, 1998, Shannon spent a lot of time crashing at Scott's apartment and meeting him for sushi at least three times a week. When they were young, Shannon had the greatest time yelling to our German Shepherd to “get’em Smoke, get’em” and then watching the dog chase after Scott all through the woods. Scott never seemed to enjoy the experience as much as Shannon did! She took great pride in her youngest brother, Derek, sometimes being motherly.  He thrilled her with his guitar playing and just before she was diagnosed, she was videotaping Derek as he and his friend played their guitars at a local bookstore.  No doubt about it, she was in charge of the whole production.
 
In November, 1999 after living with both parents at different times over the past year, Shannon longed for a place of her own.  Wanting to be near her brother, Scott, she moved into her own apartment, furnished with love by her grandmother. Everyone who entered her apartment immediately commented on how cozy and comfortable it felt - just another reflection of how easy it was to be around Shannon. 


Shannon loved Mom’s sweet ice tea,  (the kind with a whole bag of sugar in it), reading a good book, fixing a Christmas dinner for the whole family, taking walks in a garden, hated shopping, loved taking naps and playing softball, and making anyone near her scratch her head relentlessly.  She liked quiet moments.  She liked her music. She liked hugs.  She relished strolling down a street in Paris and seeing a Monet painting up close.  She liked writing Thank You notes.  But she did worry about important things -- knowing her donor was European, she wondered if it might affect her craving for sushi! 
 
Shannon’s testimony to those who followed her story was inspirational, challenging and  encouraging. She had faith and trust in the Lord that He was in control, and did not spend much time trying to figure it all out as to why she had the battle with leukemia. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of people fed off her powerful reliance on the Almighty and from her amazing positive attitude.
 
In closing, her family wishes to thank all who helped and supported Shannon during her illness, especially the bone marrow drive.  Her desire to get people together for this life saving effort could hopefully help others.  Shannon had a tremendous impact on the lives of all she met. The outpouring of love from so many is a testament to her vivacious spirit and tremendous courage.
 
Below are some reflections as read by Shannon's best friend, MC Brooks, from Albany, GA:
It is an honor to speak at this celebration of Shannon’s life. I met Shannon in 1996 when we both worked at the TV station in Albany. As with many of us, I was drawn to her by her zest for life and, most importantly, love of gardening. She loved to work in my garden, one, because she loved to garden and, two, because she loved to help people. (I had had back surgery). As our gardens and friendship grew, Shannon began to ask me about my spiritual side. I invited her to church and she came regularly. She asked her father to give her a bible and was none to patient about getting it either!
 
I could talk for a long time about Shannon and how great she was, but I think I need to tell you what Shannon would want you to hear. Gardening is like a spiritual journey. You have to plant the seeds and you have to water and nurture the plants. The seed is the Holy Spirit and is available to all who ask for and believe in Jesus Christ. The watering comes from the word of God and the nurturing comes from spending time worshipping God. When flowers blossom it is evidence of the glory of God. Shannon blossomed and was as beautiful as a rose. Shannon’s illness caused a lot of us to plant, water and nurture our gardens. Don’t abandon this garden. It was started for a reason.
 
Shannon would say something like this to you right now: “Plant a garden, watch it grow, and you will experience the glory of God right here on earth.” If you are not a gardener, I would recommend that you plant Rosemary. It smells wonderful, it is great for cooking, it is drought tolerant (we need that) and is known as the herb for remembrance.
 
Below are some reflections from Shannon's aunt, Sandra Adams, with whom she went on a special vacation to Paris, France in August, 1999 during her first remission:
Shannon was never shy. She had a gift of expressing herself. She practically burst her Uncle Chad’s eardrums on Beech Mountain, N. C. when she was 4.  He was holding her when the witch from the Wizard of Oz jumped out – you could hear her all the way down the mountain.  On another occasion we could hear her all over the mall after she had one ear pierced and her mom and grandmother had to convince her to get the other one done.  Shannon was outgoing -- Shannon wasn’t shy.
 
That’s why I’ll be forever grateful that she felt comfortable enough to say “Can I go to Paris with you and Uncle Chad?”  Next thing we knew, we were on the plane, stopping in London for a mad dash over the London bridge, then on to France, had a wild ride in a taxi and got dressed for our first dinner in Paris.  That was the beginning of a fun-filled week that included a lot of eating and sightseeing and eating and eating. When Shannon was growing up, she was a fairly picky eater, but I thought that since she had developed this sushi fetish of late that she would experiment with new foods while we were in Paris—I shouldn’t have been concerned.  Every meal was an adventure and she loved to order using only French.  At our first dinner in Paris, we all ordered different things.  Shannon announced matter of factly “I really don’t like this sharing of the food thing, sampling off everyone’s plate.  Well, it didn’t take long, the first big delicious chocolate dessert that came out, what do you think she says “ Hey, I really dig this sharing of the food thing!, Pass the plate, my turn.”
 
Shannon was probably the only 28 year old who ever got lost at the Eiffel tower with no less than 4 adult chaperones!  We thought she was lost, she thought we were lost.  She strolled around Paris and soaked in the sights.  We ran around looking for her for 3 hours in the hot sun in a panic.  When I finally got back to the hotel, there was Shannon propped up on the bed drinking an $8.00 beverage from the hotel fridge!Our last evening in Paris, we had dinner at Maxim’s.  So exquisite, very elegant..  Of course, Shannon being Shannon and having already impressed half of Paris as she strolled through the streets of that lovely city, looks up at a very conservative Captain of waiters for our table and with that big smile, says to him, “Please order for me whatever you think a young lady on her last night in Paris would like to have”.  He said, “Oui mademoiselle,” and bowed.  Shannon had
won him over and he treated her like a princess for the rest of that evening.
 
Just a few stories about our Shannon, a princess, not a shy one mind you, but still a princess.
 
These are some reflections from Shannon's good friend, Tammy Green, who worked with her at Sprint PCS:
Hi, I’m Shannon Mosher and I love my job!  That’s the first message that we at Sprint PCS got from Shannon. Shannon made people feel at ease from the moment they met her.  She was always positive, upbeat, and funny. Shannon had an “Exceptional smile” and the  “Ability to light up a room”. 
 
These are some comments from Sprint employees about her smile and personality: Heather Cassidy “Shannon brought life in and around her” I immediately noticed her infectious smile.  This perma-smile, if you will captivated me so, that I had to introduce myself and see what it was that she was so happy about.
 
Jennifer Jones   “Shannon was our offices Tinker Bell, wherever she went a trail of happiness followed her”
 
Katie “ Shannon could light up any room with her presence One flash of her smile was enough to uplift anyone for the rest of the day.
 
Wilma Clark “ Shannon was the bubbliest, fun to be around beautiful bald woman I ever met.  She had so much style and she glowed with her love for life.  Shannon loved to share herself with everyone.  Shannon was a magnet that pulled you into her loving spirit.  You feel so much better just being around her.
 
Shannon wrote in her journal “ I get my joy for life and my energy from my Grandmother”. Shannon was an inspiration. She once told me “I think that I have a new purpose in life and that purpose is to inspire other people” We at Sprint PCS know this to be true.  We have all been moved by Shannon’s undying smile and upbeat attitude. 
 
I have personally been inspired by Shannon in many ways… I have a renewed appreciation for life realizing that today could always be my last. Problems in life now seem so trivial in the grand scheme of things. 
 
I can remember talking with Shannon after her transplant, telling her about my not so great day and she told me “When you are having a bad day in sales, just think about me.  I’d love to be out there getting rejected every
day.”  This really hits home for a lot of us.
 
Shannon’s winning attitude and positive approach to life has not gone unnoticed.  Sprint PCS has a traveling trophy that is awarded to the top performing District in the Southeast region on a quarterly basis.  The trophy will be named “The Shannon Mosher Award” in honor of Shannon.
 
On a personal note, I became close friends with Shannon and I would like to mention a few things that she loved dearly.  They all start with S.  Sleep, Sushi and SHEA (her boyfriend) I’d like to share a note with you that she left for Shea when she left for Boston .  “ Shea , This is a variegated ivy for your plant-stand that we found at Michael’s along with the $20.00 candle which I’ve been burning every night.  It’s a great little plant especially since we share the same qualities.  Dainty yet tough, love to worship the sun, drink water regularly and will flourish with your care.  Love, Shannon”
 
There is a song by the Dixie Chicks that Shannon listened to 100’s of times while in Boston.  It reminded her of Shea and I think it describes Shannon perfectly.  The name of the song is “Cowboy Take me Away”. Shannon also used to dream about this song while in the hospital.  I am going to share the lyrics now:
 
Cowboy Take Me Away~

Songwriters: Hummon, Marcus; Seidel, Martie


I said, "I wanna touch the earth

I wanna break it in my hands

I wanna grow something

Wild and unruly"


I wanna sleep on the hard groud

In the comfort of your arms

On a pillow of blue bonnets

In a blanket made of stars


Oh it sounds good to me


I say, "Cowboy take me away

Fly this girl as high as you can

Into the wild blue"

Set me free oh I pray

Closer to Heaven above and

Closer to you, closer to you


I wanna walk and not run

I wanna skip and not fall

I wanna look at the horizon

And not see a building standing tall


I wanna be the only one

For miles and miles

Except for maybe you

And your simple smile


Oh it sounds good to me

Yes it sounds so good to me


Cowboy take me away

Fly this girl as high as you can

Into the wild blue

Set me free oh I pray

Closer to Heaven above and

Closer to you, closer to you


I said, "I wanna touch the earth

I wanna break it in my hands

I wanna grow something

Wild and unruly"


Oh it sounds so good to me


Cowboy take me away

Fly this girl as high as you can

Into the wild blue

Set me free oh I pray

Closer to Heaven above and

Closer to you, closer to you


Closer to you

Cowboy take me away

Closer to you



Shannon Mosher is my friend and memories of her will live in my thoughts forever.
 
Finally, another very good friend of Shannon's, Bridget Breen, was asked to read the following at her memorial service:
Hundreds of emails came across Shannon's website over the past 5 months that provided words of encouragement, admiration for her courage and as petitions to the Lord on her behalf. Earlier this month, Shannon's dad and Teresa sat on her bed in Boston for hours in a sweet time of reflection and read many of them to her that she had not heard, many from people who did not even know her personally. Shannon was humbled and full of emotion by the outpouring of love and support from so many people, and in hearing how her experience was actually changing lives.It is my honor now to read some examples of these emails.
 
First, are some that were directed to Shannon's dad, Stuart:
I must tell you that reading your emails about Shannon really gives me a new perspective of my own life every day, and I thank you. This will be used for God’s glory.
 
Each step of this “journey” with Shannon has brought me and I’m sure countless others closer to God. Please tell Shannon I appreciate her helping to show me that prayer, trust and obedience to God’s will in my life, can and will help others.
 
I have people I don’t even know, stopping me and asking how Shannon is doing. A lady called me the other day and said her Sunday School class was praying for Shannon this Wednesday. I know not who she is or how she knows about Shannon’s ordeal. The important thing is to know that Shannon is being lifted up in prayer by thousands of people.
 
May God grant Shannon’s desire to be at home with you this Easter. (Note: He did! She came home to the apartment Good Friday and was able to enjoy 18 special days out of the hospital before being readmitted)
 
The next few were some sent to Shannon from people who knew her:
I have to thank you for helping me to talk to God again. I guess I had kind of lost touch with Him or maybe thought he wasn’t listening. Now I know He does. I love you and miss you dearly and wish I was eating sushi with you right now.
 
There are thousands of people just here in Chattanooga, nameless, faceless people you will never personally know, who are watching and waiting, issuing your name in chapels, parishes, temples and synagogues all over town. You are in the daily thoughts and prayer of so many people.
 
I know your road ahead is tough, but it is clear God is working on your behalf. He is using your faith and His response to that in order to build up the faith of many others. Thank you for your testimony.
 
I am overcome with different emotions and there is so much I want to say. First and foremost, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I realize that some of my actions toward you weren’t very Christian. And I’m asking you for forgiveness. It’s not always easy to face someone when you know you’ve not acted appropriately. I am embarrassed, ashamed and remorseful. I don’t know if you are interested in friendship from me, but I am offering it.
 
I just took a look at your picture and wept for you. I will start to pray for you. What a testimony for God’s grace that you can be so positive and thankful for what you are going through. I have a feeling that you can teach me much. Hang in there.You make the rest of us thank God for everything we have. You are a blessing to all of us.
 
Finally, these are some emails sent to Shannon from people who didn’t even know her:
You have become very special to me even though I have never met you. I’ve put you on my prayer list, and know that you are very special and the Lord is watching over you. Remember, you are being prayed for in Enid, Oklahoma!
 
Hi! Although we don’t know each other, I just want to say I’m praying for you, and may God heal you. Hang in there. I’d like to share a Scripture with you, if that’s okay: Matthew 19:26“…with God all things are possible.”
 
I’m taking your outlook on life and beginning to LIVE again. Sometimes we take life for granted. We rush through without taking the time to thank our Creator for its pleasures. I am going to send a prayer your way.
 
Although we have not had the privilege of meeting, you are on our prayer list and after reading your website I am so inspired. Thank you for using the power that God has blessed each and everyone of us with.
 
Thanks for being an inspiration to so many and most importantly for having a phenomenal attitude and being a great witness for God!