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A Poem For Shawna

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14 Sands Home
(February 2008)

As Easter and the 11th anniversary of Shawna's passing approaches I realize how little things have changed, and how much things have changed.

I recall hearing the stories about Shawna prior to actually meeting her. I knew that should I meet her I would be, like so many others, instantly captivated by her charm, her innocence, her zest for life. I dreaded it. Because I knew and understood the statistics. The cruel odds. I wondered if there would be anything left of my heart should she steal a piece away.

Things have changed.

I understand now that I'm the person I am because I met her and knew her. I should not have worried if my heart could survive that meeting. I should have worried about my heart had I not met her. Knew her. Loved her dearly.

One afternoon I was at my son's school picking him up after class. I was walking home with him, thinking how lucky I was to have a healthy son. I had been thinking of Shawna all that day, and even as I talked with him asking him what he did that day. He said he was playing in the sandbox and got sand in his shoe. Out of curiosity I asked how many. He said 14.

Seconds later I was sprinting home with my son on my shoulders and the poem 14 Sands bursting in my heart to come out. To this day, I cannot read it in its entirety.

But then again, I don't have to.

It's a part of who I am.

Uncle Mike