Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Have Cried A Million Tears

The first boy that I ever willfully kissed was a boy named Shannon.

We were in junior high. I was spending the night with my friend Jamie and we were hanging out on her porch roof. I remember him looking tan. Or at least tanner than I have ever been.  And he had thick dark hair.

In high school, our lockers where next to each other. Nearly every day between classes, he use to turn himself sideways so that he could block me from getting into my locker. His family nicknamed him "Fri". {We thought it was because of the Fry Gang from McDonald's but he would tell me years later that he had that nickname long before McDonald's marketing.} I can still hear the jingle. Oh, what a sense of humor he had!

While we never really dated, we were super close. {I would say the same thing about nearly everyone I went to high school with. You just don't go to a small school and not make lifelong connections}. I have always held a place in my heart for him. He was so personable. And funny. He could make anyone laugh and brought so much humor to my life.

circa 1987

After high school our lives went different paths. Determined not to live in the path of my elders, I went to college. Got a job and started working a career in public child welfare. Shannon on the other hand, struggled with a life of addiction. For years, we had no direct contact with each other. I kept up on him through high school friends.

I reconnected with him in the past year and  I am thankful for the time I have shared with him.  It was clear to me that he was not in good health. It was also clear that he was not seeking medical attention or doing much to improve his health. I got the sense that he had really given up on this life.

He died Friday night.

I have cried a million tears since then.

I have prayed for you many times since we reconnected. I have prayed for your peace. For your health. Now I pray for your family. Your mother, your sisters, your children, your grandchildren, your nieces  your extended family.

I pray that you are finally truly at peace.

We can't change Shannon's path but you might be able to help someone you love. If you know someone who is fighting addiction, please ask them to get help. Keep asking them.  If they won't get help, go yourself. You might learn some new way of helping them.

God Bless You, Shannon "Fri"
October 26, 1968 - November 30, 2012


  1. I am so sorry to hear about the untimely loss of a life and a dear friend. Truly, your advice is sound. If you can't convince them to get help themselves, go to see what you can do to help them. Thinking of you and your friend's family tonight.