Archive for the ‘shannon’ Category

Happy 60th

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Here are Shannon, Paul, Katy, and me visiting the San Diego Wild Animal Park sometime in the last half of the 1980s. We looked so young! Come to think of it, we were young! Great Art courtesy of some film camera, taken by some person, digitized by the exclusive Morrowlife scanner, and part of my famous Shannon series.

Shannon’s picture is here to honor her on what would have been her sixtieth birthday, which would have followed her 37th Mother’s Day by just a few days. I miss her. I know our children do too, along with many others.

I’ve been going through a project to digitize all my old slides and photos. It’s daunting. There are so many, and the new scanner I bought (this one, to be specific) only handles four slides at a time. I’ve scanned well over a hundred slides so far, but it takes a long time. Still, I’ll get there eventually if my enthusiasm doesn’t wane.

It shows no signs of waning so far – these old images are precious. Katy’s and Paul’s childhoods were documented on film, while we had digital cameras for most of Andy and Mark’s lives. So I’m reliving a lot of great stuff.

I’ve been helping my friend Michael replace the transmission on his 1969 MGB. It’s been a whole lot of work and has taken quite a bit longer than he predicted it would, but it’s been great fun. I love working on other people’s cars!

We’re leaving for Joanne’s son Desi’s wedding tomorrow. Everybody’s pretty excited about it. Including me.

Speaking of Joanne, she’s loving her new job. I’m truly happy for her.

And that’s it for today. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: vampire ant!

See you soon.

Two years

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

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Here’s Shannon standing in front of Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium on September 9, 2012. We were on a leaf-peeping cruise out of Baltimore and had a wonderful time seeing new places and just being together. Part of my famous Cruise, Shannon, and Statue series.

That was our last cruise together. A little more than four months after this photo was taken, we received the news that Shannon had leukemia. It happened all of a sudden. Many people who lose loved ones to cancer can look back and see when it started. Not so for us. She was fine when this picture was taken, she was fine when she single-handedly moved our things from the house in Manteca to Las Vegas, she was fine when we left Pennsylvania, she was fine when we drove from Manteca to Las Vegas, and she was fine when we finally moved into the house. Those were very busy months and she was fine. A week or two after we got here, she started feeling sick and antibiotics didn’t help. Finally, on about February 20, 2013, we went to the emergency room to see why she was feeling so bad. She walked in. And she started dying.

Today, it’s been two years since her death. So much has happened that she has missed. Oh how we miss her.

Katy posted the above picture on Facebook this morning with this comment: “I miss you every day, Mom.”

Paul posted this picture and said: “Here’s one of my favorite pics of Mom. I think of her constantly and miss her desperately. I’m so happy to have such a great support system of family and friends to help me during times like this. The last few years are kind of a hazy blur, but it sure doesn’t feel like she’s been gone for two years. I love you!”

I think I’ve written thousands of words about her life and death. I could come up with several thousand more, but I’ll just say this today: For more than 35 years, she was the light of my life. When she was gone, the only wish of my heart was to go with her. Instead, I’ve spent time over the past two years reflecting on the things she taught me and the things she gave me. Now my only wish is to love and care for the people around me the way she did, and to be happy the way she was happy.

Thank you, Shannon. I love you still.

One year

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

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Here’s the last picture of Shannon I could find before her initial hospitalization nearly two years ago. I may have posted it here before. It was taken January 19, 2013 at Longwood Gardens, about one week before we left Langhorne and moved to our home here in Las Vegas. She was perfectly healthy, in excellent spirits, and excited to embark on our new post-retirement life together. A month and a day after this picture was taken, she was diagnosed with leukemia and she began to concentrate nearly all her efforts on trying to stay alive. One year ago this morning, she died.

But she didn’t concentrate 100% of her efforts on cancer; she spent a great deal of them on me and on our family. She loved and cared for me right up until the end. There were a lot of things her doctors told her she shouldn’t do. She avoided nearly all of them. But she did choose to kind of ignore advice that she felt wouldn’t be consistent with her desire to take care of me. Those things she did, and I felt loved and cared for right up until the end. I still feel her love and influence every day. I still love her deeply and think of her every day. I don’t talk about her as much as I used to, but I think of her and miss her and yearn for her. Sometimes I still cry.

Shannon was kind. She gave away her entire life to service, not just to our children and me, but to her large and ever-expanding circle of friends. It seemed like everybody loved her, and I know she loved everybody.

I find it very difficult to believe it’s already been a year. So many things have happened in that short time. She has missed so much. Birthdays, holidays, engagements, happiness, fun, heartbreaks, love, sorrow, daily life. On the other hand, like the cliché goes, it seems like forever. The seasons have all passed, my heart has found room for a new love, I’ve made wonderful new friends, I’ve traveled to some places I’ve never been as well as to several old familiar places, my mother has been diagnosed with cancer and died, I’ve worked some and actually made some sales, I’ve grieved over and over again, and I’ve learned to be happy.

I’ve talked about choosing to live happily here on the blog several times. I’m still trying and I think that’s going well. I don’t think I’m the kind of person who has to make that decision every morning when I get up. I’ve just convinced myself that it’s what I want to do, and I’m doing it. Life is good, life is sweet, life is so, so worth living. Life is continuing without slowing down. I’m doing my best to keep facing forward.

But I miss Shannon. I will never forget her. I will always love her profoundly, deeply, passionately. We went through everything together. She walked by my side for 35 years and she began to love me four years before that. She was my life from the time I was 17 until 56. That’s a long time and a lot of mileage. She remained steadfastly devoted to me every second. She was my advisor, my confidant, my best friend, my sounding board, my lover, my partner, my everything, my wife.

I miss you, Shannon. I will never forget you. I love you.

Happy anniversary

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Today was my 36th wedding anniversary. There have been lots of important days in the nearly eleven months since Shannon’s death. Many of them go by without much difficulty for me. Maybe there’s a brief pang or a sad thought. Sometimes there’s a mental or even vocal monologue with Shannon. Other times there’s a happy thought or memory.

But our first wedding anniversary without her was a fairly difficult one. When I face a hard day, I often find it helpful to sit down and write. That’s what I did at about 12:30 this morning. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook:

Today’s the 36th anniversary of my marriage to Shannon Morrow and I’m feeling the sting of her loss a bit more than on most days. [A] wonderful little article on motherhood posted earlier by my niece Jessica Morrow really touched my heart.

Jessica started the adventure of parenthood relatively recently. I can tell by her Facebook posts that she’s crazy about her little boy and I can see that she has become a devoted, wonderful mom.

How I love and miss my mother and, today even more than usual, how I love and miss the mother of my children. It seemed like she always knew just exactly what to say and do to help our kids feel loved and happy and to keep them moving in the direction they needed to go. She was their friend and mentor and, for Andrew Morrow and Mark Morrow, their schoolteacher from the very beginning right through their graduation from high school. She never stopped teaching, she never stopped encouraging, and she never stopped loving each child. Her influence on them is immense, as I know it will remain through the rest of their lives. We talk about her frequently, we think about her constantly, and the aching in our hearts goes on and on.

I am so grateful for the wonderful life Shannon gave me, for the wonderful children she gave me, and for the endless, tireless labor of love she freely gave as my wife and our children’s mother through her entire adult life. She was devoted to each of us and put her whole heart into making us happy. I know she was proud of the kids and would remain so today. I am who I am today because my mother gave me a great start and then my wife stood by my side and strengthened me and taught me how to love.

I promised Shannon I would move forward happily, and that’s what I’m doing. I am deeply grateful to have the companionship of a wonderful woman, Joanne Marie Richards Parsons, as a big part of that happy life. We’re both recovering from the loss of our spouses this year. Our relationship is fun and exciting, but we’re also there to comfort and understand each other as we go through the difficult, seemingly endless grieving process. Thank you, Joanne, for making it so easy to love you and for accepting me as I am. And thank you, Shannon, for loving the children and me deeply enough to give us the strength to go on without you. Happy anniversary.

Life’s good and it’s getting better. I can feel my heart get stronger and happier all the time. So the bit of grief I felt today wasn’t a setback. It was just a natural, normal part of my healing.

I love my life.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

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Had a chance to think today. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook:

This has not been the easiest year of my life, with the loss in February of Shannon Morrow, my wonderful wife of 35 years, and then my dear mother’s death in September. I think my heart has broken anew every single day.

And yet out of the ashes of my life has arisen a new, happy, wonderful present and future. Joanne Marie Richards Parsons came into my life in the spring. It started with a serious interest, quickly turned into love, and just recently blossomed into our engagement. Joanne’s love has given me immense happiness and strength. Her circle of friends has embraced me. Her wonderful children have been kind and welcoming to me. My life is filled with love and happiness.

My children have reached out to me and loved and cared for me, even as they dealt with their own loss and grief. My relationships with them have grown stronger and closer. Each one is a strong, happy, independent adult and I couldn’t be a prouder father.

So along with personal tragedies, 2014 has brought me peace and happiness and given me optimism for the future. My past was wonderful, my present is wonderful, and my future promises to continue to be happy and full of wonder. Life is good.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Nothing to add. See you tomorrow.