Yesterday, it was exactly 8 years, (2922 days) that Heaven received a very special Angel. This specific Angel was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother. She was also my best friend. I have no doubt she is one of Heavenly Father’s best angels as well.
There have been many adjustments and special moments to my life since my Angel Shannon left for her next chapter. I would like to tell you about some of the moments that have meant the most to me.
1. The Alaskan Cruise
It was Shannon’s request that instead of spending the money on a funeral for her, I was to take the family on an Alaskan Cruise. We were fortunate enough to go on one through John Deere, and it was one our most memorable experiences. She insisted I use the money I would have spent on a funeral to make some special memories with our family. She was always so unselfish and compassionate that way. I made sure to book the same cruise and the same ship we went on. And while there were times it brought back some memories that made me miss her, it also allowed us to make some very special new memories.
2. Stories of an Angel
These weekly stories started in January 2012. I originally created a website on Caring Bridge to keep Shannon’s memory alive about a week after she passed away. After a few months, I wanted to let people know a little more about Shannon and our life together. I started posting these stories on the website. This also caused, for better or worse, me to finally sign up on Facebook. When I decided to write my book, it was easy because I already had most of the stories written. The hard part was writing about my second worst day (When we found out about her cancer) and my worst day (When she left for her next chapter)
3. The Foundation
When I decided to start my business for consulting and training, I always planned to do something to honor Shannon. My original plan was to set up a Shannon Wilker Scholarship fund for Agriculture students. After a few struggling years with my business, I decided to establish the Shannon Wilker Foundation instead. My goal was to keep her memory alive, but I also wanted to make sure I knew where the money went. That’s when I decided it would go directly to local cancer patients. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have met many selfless and generous people. I have also met some courageous and inspirational patients that have taught me true courage and strength.
These are just a few of the many incredible moments I have had the opportunity to experience. I think the main lesson I learned was the importance of moving forward and enjoying the people I have in my life now. With that in mind, starting with this story, I am changing my sign off statement. I appreciate all your continued encouragement and support. Thanks for reading.