This has been a taxing week on many levels, but the fact Shane was home just one year ago for his mid-deployment level weighs heaviest on my heart. And it is just not my heart; this weight is on each and everyone’s heart who knew and loved Shane.
This was Shane’s last Sunday at home before he returned to Afghanistan on Saturday, September 25, 2010. In my world, Sunday is still family day. It is a day to try and catch up from the demands and pressures of the world. It is a day where there still is a home cooked meal and conversation or maybe an outing.
Today is a day in which I could easily wallow in self pity or sadness or depression. I will not let the tears flow because I do not think I could contain them.
Instead, I will share happy memories of Shane. A Shane that the Army never got to have, a Shane that only very few of his brothers-in-arms knew about his passion for playing his guitars. Yes, his brothers knew about his knowledge and love of music, but not about the guitars. Shane decided once he joined the Army that the two worlds would not collide.
As I reach back in my memories, I grasp onto Shane’s senior year of high school. I have previously shared that I was blest to have had both Beth and Shane in the classroom. The one course that they each took as seniors was yearbook. And, you guessed it, I taught the course. A part of the responsibility of producing a successful yearbook is to generate revenue. Every year the yearbook staff and I would sponsor a Halloween costume contest. The students would pay a dollar to have the privilege of wearing a school appropriate costume. The yearbook staff would select the winner and he or she would receive a plastic pumpkin filled with goodies.
Shane and two of his good buddies, Tim Rosseel and Scott Shannon, decided to dress up as 80s rock stars. I don’t think anything more needs to be said – the photograph speaks volumes. I believe it was one of their best days at CMC. Tim and Scott have been humbled by their friendship with Shane.
Tim, Shane, and Scott
Another senior moment for Shane was during the talent show. I know Shane was in his glory when the female student body kept yelling his name, “Shane, Shane, Shane – we love you, Shane.” I guess a guy and his guitar equal star treatment. I had a hard time focusing my camera between my giggles of this treatment for my son. This was near the end of the school year, and for some reason, Shane was able to stay under the radar with the length of his hair.
Lastly, this is one of my favorite photographs ever taken of Shane. Terry, the owner of St Clair Studio, took Shane’s senior portraits. I remember helping lug in the change of clothes, sports equipment, amps, and guitars for the photo shoot. Of all the photos taken that day, it is this one that I cherish the most. I feel this photo captures the essence of Shane – his passion and love of music.
So, today, I might stumble, but I refuse to stand still or step backwards. Instead, I will force myself to move forward as I continue to, “put one foot in front of the other.” I do this in honor of my son, my Shane Michael, my Moe.
Always and forever,
Shane’s Mammy and Beth’s Momma