Thoughts on a 12-year friendship

Shannon and MelissaI’m trying to think of something – anything to write about to get my mind off of my worry for Shannon today, but that’s just not happening.

So instead I will tell you about Shannon. I met Shannon my freshman year in college and we were instant friends. Actually, that’s not true. I met her my freshman year in college and I was so intimidated by her because she was outgoing and beautiful and stylish, and she said whatever was on her mind – loudly. I mistakenly thought her confidence meant she was an upperclassman, and I shied away from her because I figured she had better friends already established since she must’ve been at college longer than me.

I do believe it was my 21-year-old boyfriend who brought me and Shannon together. See, he could buy booze – and that was a hot commodity among college freshmen … So she asked me one day if he could buy us some beer and, I do believe the rest was history (for the record, so was the boyfriend not too long after that.)

We lived in the same building sophomore year too, then got an off-campus apartment after that with Colleen. That was the year we became sorority sisters and coworkers, so we got to see each other quite a lot! We lived apart after that, then together again after graduation and she got to put up with me when I worked a night shift and had weekdays off …

No one makes me laugh as much as Shannon. No one puts up with my day-to-day stuff like she does either – I could complain to her for an hour about a paper cut, and she listens just as sympathically as if I were telling her my deepest, darkest fears. Sometimes we go a day, or a week, or a month without talking (usually my fault), and we pick right back up where we left off. I make a mental list to tell her everything in my life because I truly can’t wait to hear her commentary on it – whether humorous, or insightful, or empathetic (and for the record, she is not nearly as intimidating as she once seemed – just fun!)

Today Shannon is in ICU at the hospital after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl named Laurel. I talked to her on Sunday night on her way to the hospital – they were to induce labor on Monday. She was thrilled about welcoming her new daughter into the world. She’d had a rough time getting here, but she had made it and she was excited about beginning her family with her husband, Mark. I’m unclear on all the details, but I know things on Monday were long – Laurel finally came via C-section at 4:56 a.m. Tuesday morning. We all celebrated – What a beautiful baby! – but then yesterday afternoon, Shannon was taken back into surgery. Today has been a flurry of friends and sorority sisters trying to find and share information on our dear Shannon, and lots and lots of prayers. I just got word she is awake and talking, which makes me feel a million times better.

Get better Shannon. Your baby needs her beautiful mother, and the rest of us need our Shannon back.