I was hoping to be ending my three part series of my Middle Salmon trip pretty quickly, that did not happen. Only a few days after posting my second part of the series my best friend, Shannon Christy (and large part of my Salmon trip) died in a kayaking accident on the Potomac River. My world began to spin and suddenly my summer changed from being the best summer I have ever had in my life to hearing the worst news and feeling the most heartbroken that I have felt.
|Waking up every morning.|
Things happened pretty quickly, Snowy and I had to drive to the Potomac to get the Dagger van and also to see people at the memorial service. The next weekend I decided to hop a flight to Rhode Island to go deep sea fishing with my dad and sister, Shannons' memorial service was the next weekend, the weekend after that I suddenly showed up at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City, and the next weekend I found myself in Michigan with my mom, sister, grandmother, and two aunts. Things never slowed down. When not grabbing flights, I was at the NOC training really hard for the quickly approaching Freestyle Worlds event.
|The last river trip with my best friend.|
Every person grieves differently. Shannon was one of the very few girls who I have ever let get close to me. She knew me better than any other woman, she could read me like a book, I never got anything past her. We both taught each other a lot and we could always bounce ideas off of each other without fear of being judged. After three years with my boyfriend, Snowy was stoked to see me hanging out with another girl, everything was going so well. That didn't last long enough, there were a lot more things that Shannon and I wanted to do, have her be my maid of honor at my wedding, raise our kids together, and drive people nuts when we got old. We had a lot more adventures planned and we were always looking for new adventures.
|The confluence of the Middle and Main Salmon|
After my whirlwind month, sitting quietly is painful. I didn't cry very much that first month. I cry every day now, the smallest thing's set me off. A song that reminds me of her, a picture that I find, or even just looking at a red Mamba. The one positive thought that I have for all of this is that I have an angel on my shoulder all the time now. She keeps me safe, comfortable, and she reminds me to be happy, even in the hardest of times.
God placed Shannon on this Earth as an angel, a ray of light that will never dim, even when we can't be with her physically, she is there spiritually.
I will always love Shannon and I will never be able to replace her with anyone. I will tell my children of an angel who dropped onto my lap and caused me everlasting happiness.
December 7 1989-July 11 2013