Sunday, September 13, 2009

The kindness of strangers, and those not so strange

Chris and my anniversary was yesterday. As a gift, Chris put up a hammock for me in the dog yard! Now I can rest and recover and still be outside and with the dogs!

I have been blessed.

So many things I am thankful for these days, the gratitude wells up inside of me several times a day and I tear up. So many emails I have received from friends, family and even total strangers offering up blessings, well-wishes, encouragement and kind words. It has been truly humbling and I want to say a huge THANK YOU to every person who has been there.

Some recent email excerpts that have moved me:

Amy, a doggie rescue friend:
"hi shannon, i don't wanna bug you since you are fresh out of the hospital and have just been through a hellish life-changing experience....but i wanted to tell you that i had something for you, i wanted to send it to you while you were in the hospital but i wasn't sure where you were....please let me know if and when you are feeling up to it, if you ever wanna meet, i'd love to meet you and see your dogs/kennel....i hope you are doing well, i've been reading your blogs and stuff and am just so amazed, you are very talented! i really would love to meet sometime and see your doggies, i have always been obsessed with alaska and recently watched the whole season of "iditarod" from itunes it was sooooo cool."

Amanda, a young woman just getting into dog mushing:
"I wanted to let you know how much your recent journal entries have touched me... I so admire your strength and resiliency, and your tenacity in not giving up after such a rough year is so incredible to see. You are a true hero, Shannon, and I'm sure that anyone that reads your blog can see that! Thank you again for sharing your story and for writing with such honesty even when you are in dark places.

Jen, my childhood best friend:
"It has been absolutely amazing to see the battles that you have come through these last several weeks (even longer if you count the original surgery). Your posts have been heart-wrenching at times and totally hilarious at others, but always so genuine. I appreciate your candor and how you just tell it like it is. :-)

Well, I want you to know that my boys and I have been praying for you EVERYDAY since this whole ordeal began and we have no plans of stopping! Even my students at school have been praying for you, too. We're believing that this will all turn out for good (even better than 'good')."

My friend Sherry Sutherby in Michigan:
"You appear at peace. You remind me of people in my life who trust God ~ totally ~ without reservation. Who have total peace because they know they are NOT in control. They do their best each day, but God is going to provide for them, and make them safe. Your peacefulness comes through your writing...and spreads to others. I'm happy for you."

Phil in Illinois:
"Hello Shannon, In following your posts and offering support during your recent horrible ordeal, I learned a lot about you. You're a great writer, a musher and a very strong and brave person. I wish you the best in your continued recovery. Your posts have been very interesting and I look forward to reading them. My thoughts and prayers are with you."

Lindsey in Colorado:
"Hey Shan. I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and doing my best to send positive energy your way! I am so sorry that you have been so ill this summer, but you are such a strong and willful woman that I KNOW you have the ability to handle this. I am not a God or religious person by any means, but I do love the saying that God will not give us more than we can handle. I am thinking of you lots, and of your sweet little girls. I know how hard it is to see a parent seriously ill at such a young age. This experience will make them stronger than you can imagine. I know you can get through this! I know I am so far away, but seriously if there is anything I can do to help.. just ask. You are such a wonderful and special person, focus on getting better!! We are thinking of you and loving you!

There have been many, many more just like these: little notes or voicemails offering good karma, from friends like Tom Roig, whose mother recently passed (very sorry to hear this, Tom. I know how close you were to her); from Ed and Tasha Stielstra, from Jim Warren, Jason Barron, Tim Looney, Frank and Stacey Teasley, my Auntie Ellen, Kim and Mark Swickard, and so many more.

I try to return the emails, but I am slow to get to them. So this is a huge THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART to all of you!

I am strengthened by the blessings of my friends and family, and the kindness of strangers who are now not strangers at all.

Here is a song that I think of lately. Listen to it if you have time and are so willing. Namaste.

1 comment:

  1. ah sweet girl. I love you. I also love ani. Her lyrics are magical. anyway, it's in the hardest times, like these, that we realize how truly blessed we are. It renews your belief in the human spirit and gives you strength to continue on. I know it all so well. And you should feel blessed that you see it too. And I know you do feel blessed. There are gifts surrounding us every day. Sometimes we are that gift to others. Sometimes others are that gift to us. I heart you!


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