Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Mother's Passing

The following is one of the first posts I wrote when I started Dirt & Noise this year. I've reposted it in its entirety. I began to write in hopes that my blog would be a tool to make the world a better place. My idealism manifested.

I am saddened and humbled and astonished to write tonight that Shannon Dodd, mother, wife, spark plug, faithful friend, and so much more, passed away last night. Her two boys are the same age as my Bird and Deal. Mac Daddy had tears in his eyes and asked, "How do you begin to explain this to children?" My heart is heavy, my eyes are watery, my soul is sad. Regardless what you believe, say a prayer for Shannon's family. And hug yours extra tight.

I don't know Shannon Dodd, yet I feel a certain kinship to her. She, like me, is in her 30s (not as FAR into her 30s as I am, mind you). She has two boys, so her house is full of dirt and noise too. Shannon has a lovely monosyllabic-named husband. She has an extraordinary close-knit group of friends. Our similarities end there. You see, Shannon is in the heat of the battle of a lifetime; she is fighting an aggressive brain cancer. Her noggin, her VERY BEING is being attacked by these horrid, cancerous cells.

Shannon and her family are fighting. They are in the ring for those two little boys, ages 4 and 5. And they are fighting for so much more. I was teary-eyed recounting the tale to my husband tonight. I can only manage to be but so poignant, if at all, in this post. My emotions are raw for this woman I don't even know. I know her story, however, and that's moving enough.

How do I even know of Shannon's plight, you ask? My boys are in school with some of Shannon's friends who are in the ring with her. They are busy at various command posts organizing a whole host of ways to support the Dodd family. For starters, there's a pancake breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, January 26 8:00-10:30 to raise money to help the Dodds manage mounting financial burdens. Though they are blessed with great health insurance, the bills still add up quickly. The emotional toll can't be empirically counted. Imagine the havoc illness wreaks on those less fortunate. No political jabs here, but simply an observation.

If you're in or around Raleigh, enjoy the respite from breakfast duty on the 26th and head over to 4801 Six Forks Road for pancakes, sausage, coffee, and juice. Tickets are a mere 5 bucks. Go to shannondodd.org to get more information. You can see photos of the lovely Shannon there too. And by the way, the $5 donation is not tax deductible since Shannon's friends are the organizers, not a registered, official non-profit. But hey, who's supporting the cause for the tax break? As a good liberal, I hate people who just write checks for the tax write off and not the underlying cause anyway.

Shannon has a remarkable group of friends. It's easy to call, email, drop by with a half-burned lasagna once in a while. Creating a whole grassroots campaign is another endeavor. What a gesture it is for these friends to show their love in a tangible way. I'm sure the lasagna, once the burned cheese was scraped off the top, was enjoyed by all, but nothing beats the display of friendship behind the scenes at http://www.shannondodd.org/.

In a world fraught with war, worry, and wariness, it is refreshing to know that everyday people live with a whole different set of virtues. Love, generosity, goodwill, and true, deep care are dancing in harmony before my very eyes. We should all be so lucky to live a life worthy of such a solid set of friends, admirers, and supporters. Friendship, unlike any I have experienced, is alive and kicking here in Raleigh. Shannon's cancer is in for a real ass kicking.

Join the fight.

Saturday, January 26
8:00 - 10:30
5 bucks (priceless since you don't have to cook!)
St. Mark's Methodist Church, 4801 Six Forks Road, Raleigh

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Claire said...

Wish I lived in the area... beautiful post! Thank you for sharing her in life and in death! Prayers for the family!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute to a woman who sounded amazing. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

Thanks for sharing this with us.

steenky bee said...

This was such a wonderful tribute to Shannon. I love your passion. I will pray for her family.

Anonymous said...

My payer goes to the faminly and specially for those boys.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on Shannon. Without kids at the preschool I would have never known.

I know it is hard on the family, but she is in a much better place now.

Anonymous said...

You wrote a beautiful remembrance of Shannon. I don't know her or her family, but tears came rolling down my cheeks. I will keep the family in my prayers and those boys that they will always remember their mom.