Relationships, like trees, grow strong by weathering storms.
When our son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 22 months of age, the real fear we could lose him brought both my wife and I to our knees. Each night, for years, we would each wake at least once, pad softly into his bedroom and check to be certain he was still breathing, that he had not slipped away silently from us.
Since this, our wedding day in 1978, both of Shannon’s parents have died, as has her older brother (6 years ago today). She has been dealt terrible blows that would have staggered me.
If you don’t know my wife, you can meet her HERE.
She is the strongest woman I know.
She smiles every day.
She thinks the best of me every day.
She allowed me to walk away from a cushy, over-paid corporate radio job, a contract I had written myself (those were the days!) that not only granted us an all-expense paid 3-weeks-at-one-time vacation anywhere in the world we wanted to go, but included a babysitter of our choice we could bring with us.
And she let me leave that, with absolutely no idea what I would do next, because she saw what that job was doing to my spirit.
Of course, that led to consulting, and 20+ wonderful years of adventure and fun and friendships all over the world, but she didn’t know that then. I certainly had no plan, never have.
I can tell you, with certainty, that success un-shared is not much fun. Visiting beautiful places alone is not much fun. And luckily, Shannon shared my passion for the world.
She’s joined me in just about every city I’ve ever worked, usually arriving a day before my work ends so we can spend several more enjoying its beauty together, in Prague, or Paris, or Singapore, or Shanghai, or Melbourne, or Amsterdam, or Zurich, or Bangkok, or Vancouver, or Auckland, or Osaka, or London, or Kuala Lumpur, or Munich…
Most of my clients end up liking her a lot more than me, and who can blame them? I’ve always thought most of the reason I’ve had so little client turn-over through the years is they don’t want to lose touch with Shannon.
And I simply could not bear what I must bear right now without her strength. Her empathy, her natural tendency to nuture and care, her boundless compassion, and her ability to make me laugh are such gifts.
Mainly though, I just love her for the wonderful, beautiful person she is, and the person she has helped me become.
Happy Anniversary, Shannie! I love you, always.