Friday, June 30, 2006

I Forgot To Tell You...

June 3, 2006

Dearest Shannon,

Today I awoke in a sun-filled room. I'd dreamed about my trip to New Orleans to finally meet you and stay in your home. In that hazy rift between sleep and wakefulness, I did not remember you were gone.

I forgot to tell you: When we worked on Louisiana's Pet Evacuation Bill materials, you were so patient and kind. I was the stress machine. You thanked me many times for the PSAs, releases, and letter campaigns. That was your way, at least with me... I began to look forward to our conversations. Because, as women do, we'd passed from "professional" to personal. A bond had formed. I miss you Shannon and have this insane urge to call you.

I forgot to tell you: Thank you for your help when my puppy, rescued from a Missouri puppy mill, came home with a parvo-like condition, coccidia, giardia, and two little legs with missing bones. While Mandy was hospitalized on IV fluids, you called and called. You consulted your veterinarian uncle for advice. You were just there, unconditionally and completely. I wish you could see Mandy now. She is a spastic fluffball. We call her the walking "hair-do."

I forgot to tell you: We were kindred spirits, you and I, with that precarious dose of passion and pain. Needing approval, but forging ahead, obsessively so. The last time we talked at length, I wanted to share a hundred more stories. You were a comfortable ear. I could open up, as you did with me. I don't connect easily. I grieve the friendship we lost and the one that would have grown.

For you Shannon, that line between valor and sorrow was thinly etched. People who practice compassion -- not on a whim, but as their core -- waken to daily questions: Can I save just one? How many can I speak for today? The fragile heart feels too much. Sees too much. Hears too much. Empathy gives way to anger and confusion. To experience the fear and pain of infinite animals can break the soul. Without a lifeline, isolation becomes unbearable.

I can never know the depth of your despair in those final hours Shannon. Like many who knew you, I am plagued with a thousand What-Ifs. I do know the world has lost an imperfect angel. A gentle spirit who could no longer find reason for hope.

Sleep among angels, sweet Shannon. And bring your love to the animals we couldn't save...

I know you'd think this letter is a mush-fest and it would probably embarrass you. But the thing is, I forgot to tell you how much I cared.

Your friend,



Anonymous Marijo said...

...A haunting tribute...there are no existing words or expressions to describe your love and devotion to Shannon...and your soulful passion for those innocent, vulnerable creatures who are the closest things to God, that God created. God Bless You Always Brenda.

MArijo (WAG NY)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 8:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shanonn.I never knew you.from what I hear you fought for animals every day of your too short life.The love for animals brings people from all over the world together for the same reason.To say enough to the ones who abuse and torture maim and kill innocent animals.You are there now at the rainbowbridge.To give love to those who never knew what love was. The heavens rejoices as a new angel is among the manny already there.The work you have done is an inspiration for others to follow.You have inspired me to go on with my work and vocation in this life namely to speak for those who can`t speak for themselves. I thank you for that courage to speak up and say enough. I shall do the same.not because you did it,but because it is part of who I am,and what I do.regards from a greyhound advocat.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 6:49:00 AM  

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