been a while / Vicky
oh, i hear songs all the time and think i should make a tape for you, shannon! i haven't made a mixtape since you left us, but i still listen to the copies of the ones i made for you. last night i saw a screening of 'hedwig' hosted by john cameron mitchell at RISD college. he had a Q&A afterwards--he was REALLY funny and smart. i remembered when you told me about 'hedwig' a long time ago--it's what prompted me to see it in the first place and then watch it over & over again--and you said back then that you knew him. so i couldn't think of any question to ask besides 'john cameron mitchell, i love your work, do you remember shannon?' but i didn't ask it. all these earnest young college kids asked dorky questions, trying to be erudite and impressive. JCM was very kind to them, even when they droned on and on about nonsense. i was reminded of how when we (you & i) were young dorky college kids and you wanted to someday open a bar called 'kindness,' and how you valued kindness above all other virtues. tonight i'm having a bourbon and toasting KINDNESS in your honor, shannon. i miss you so much. *swak* Close
Four years / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Shannon, Heather will come out and we will look at pictures and read your old letters. We’ll finish the Christmas décor. We had put up the tree four years ago the day before I got that awful call from New York. It’s become a tradition for us to continue to haul our Christmas finery down from the attic on the 4th. Last year your father relented and we have an artificial tree. Heather bought seashells for tree ornaments. We’ll add the pine scent with candles. The glass candle with your name etched in crookedly has been an odd comfort to me and we light it on holidays or when we are in the mood at a special dinner like when Chris and Vic come over. You would adore Astrid. You would be Uncle S. I am Grandma E, your Dad is Grandpa K, and Heather is Auntie H. She is already saying words and calls me E and your Dad K.
What Ben said! (the nite before the '08 election) / Heather (Sister)Read >>
What Ben said! (the nite before the '08 election) / Heather (Sister)
The silence that is you not being here...the silence of me not roaring with laughter from your spot-on Sarah Palin immitation. See how we fill in the blanks? But they're not filled in at all really... You know I miss you all the time and very deeply but I feel like I can say especially RIGHT NOW! You'd be thrilled with Barack I know...but I wish I could hear you say exactly why because I know you'd have much more depth and insight than I am capable of. This time tomorrow the world will be changed...I hope you can see and approve. And I can only imagine the celebrating we would be doing. I've got three bottles of champagne in the fridge.
I'm volunteering tomorrow (looks like in the rain) to get ppl to vote no on a gay marriage ban. I'm excited.
I've pretty much said all this in my inner dialogue with you, but more is churning as I actually write instead of 'muse'... I know you'd be happy for the things going on in my life...that you'd like my new 'friend', applaud my 'dancing'...defend my actions! Sure wish I could hear you say so though...the hubris! And that I 'bravely' travelled to Europe on my own.
I thought you would like this...I got to see REM in May and say hi to Michael...I found him less shy, in fact very open and happy. In front of a lot of ppl he said kind things about you but also that you were a 'beautiful and troubled man'...I thought 'huh, trouble is in the eye of the beholder'! ;() But beautiful yes undoubtedly...
(I guess my view is that you're like how ppl say 'he's trouble' or 'here comes trouble'...they might say it to a cute, messy toddler who is on his way to knock something over. Well, whatever.)
Anyway, get God and all your angel friends to deliver us a President Obama! Do you have any 'pull'? Teehee... Close
oh wow / Ben
the memory of you came rushing back all at once today and i didn't know what to do with it. i think if one of us had just moved away we wouldn't remember each other at all, but now you're part of my internal dialogue, dropping a comment every once in a while and then i'm reevaluating everything in that context. i dunno, i thought i had something more profound to say here but really guess i'm just remarking on the silence that is you not knocking at my door. Close
I miss kibbitzing with you about the upcoming elec / Eloise Hamann (Mom)Read >>
I miss kibbitzing with you about the upcoming elec / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
I know we would have spent hours and hours on the phone about our candidates. I know you would have supported Hillary in the primaries and we would have had grand debates over whether being black or being a hated cheater's wife would have meant more baggage. I think you having met Hillary and having been charmed by her would have gone for her. I decided the hatred of the Clintons was more of a liability, but it was a close call. Once I made my call, however, I became annoyed with Hillary and we would have gone round and round no doubt.
However, we would have both had our yuks and feelings of wanting to vomit over the negative turn of the McCain campaign. Speaking of yuks, the moose woman would have had both of us howling our heads off. It would have been great fun and a great release. Obama is ahead, but I'm so nervous. The RNC sent out this mailer associating Obama with terrorists absolutely approved by McCain. Am I wrongly giving you credit for the name Repuglicans.
I don't know if you read or would have read any Harry Potter. At any rate, Voldemort is such an evil witch or whatever they're called that throughout the series, you must not say "Voldemort". You must instead say "He who must not be named."
Your wonderful city's paper runs articles by Paul Krugman. One of the things he said ---and I can picture you being as creative ---of the Repuglican Convention is that there was no mention of "He who must not be named". It is in imho one of the most ingenious things I've ever read in a newspaper column.
You won't believe that a friend of mine sent me a bogus email containing a column purportedly written by Maureen Dowd claiming all of Obama's internet donations came from the middleeast. The information was ludicrous so you know no reputable columnist wrote it and certainly not Maureen Dowd whose columns are full of wit and humor and of course the phony column was full of boogey man scare tactics. What is it about this phony shit which sounds so much alike? Do they only have one neanderthal writer? My gawd, if you're going to make stuff up why not be suble, creative, maybe even believable? What's funny is a site which talked about the real column on the date the phony one was supposed to have appeared said the hoax was an insult to the American intelligence. While I agree, whoever said that didn't know how dumb and ill informed some people are.
We plan a party on 1/20/09, the end of an error, no matter who wins, You'd better come down from your perch and attend. Should have Chris and Vic over on election night, but I don't want to jinx it. Obama is ahead in the polls, but the negative shit is piling up from the other side and I, for one, don't underestimate the average voter so I'm scared.
This is a long winded way of saying, I miss you especially at this time as we had some marvelous political discussion. I've lit your candle which stands near me and it is waving in the breeze.
Truly Arrived / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
You would have been amused by my recent crossword puzzle. The clue was M. Stipe's band, 3 letters. You can be sure your friend has arrived when he appears in a crossword. It indicates not only gravitas but also permanency.
We babysat Astrid yesterday fir the first time. She is such a sweet baby, she's a tad over one year old. She's on the verge of walking and took one step on her own between me and the cupboard. She got a little fretful when tired or teething or missing Chris and Vic but she's easy to distract. It's just fun to watch a baby explore the world.
We call ourselves Grandma E and Grandpa K. You'd be Uncle S. Pam's book club is reading your Brad Pitt novel. I'll let you know what they think when they meet in June.
I don't think I mentioned I have Easter on a dusty taupe background framed on our wall.
Your Brad Pitt Novel / Eloise Ham (Mom)
I am submitting it chapter by chapter on an online writers' group for review. You would enjoy the reactions to your outrageous and hysterical Carol. I see the novel as a tragicomedy, but many see Carol as so LOL funny that I hope they are not disappointed with the later chapters. The site is a lot of work because in order to post one must earn posting points by reviewing other work. It has helped me see whatI need to improve as a writer. I wrote a 'practice' novel. I am not so proud of it, but with more work it might become something I will be proud of. It's in the genre of Steven King.
More and more companies are accepting online submissions which would have made life so much easier for you.
Happy Birthday / Sandy Borello (Aunt)
Happy Birthday Shannon, It is hard to believe that this will be the 4th birthday you have missed on earth. I believe that you are watching over your family and have guided them with your gentle touch. Your life here was too brief, but you have touched many and through your death I have gotten to know you better.
All excited for your birthday... / Heather (Sistah)Read >>
All excited for your birthday... / Heather (Sistah)
I'm throwing your party this year! The daffodils ARE daffing! Dafinitely, and right there in the middle of the table. I have 3 kinds of whiskey...yum! And lots of beer. And the very best peaches I could find...they smell wonderful. I'm sure you would eat them ALL if you were here. It's a beautiful day here. On earth. Wish you were here - anywhere on this earth. Eating all the fruit, drinking all the whiskey... pissing me off, making me laugh so hard I could piss... Close
PPS/ Eloise Hamann (Mom)
I received an email that a guest had added a photo to your photo album which I needed to approve. When I went to view it I discovered a picture of three children holding cats. I recognized none of them. It appears to be a mistake but I can't imagine how one could make such. I've requested the email address of the donor to make sure. Maybe you should go into edit mode and check it out.
PS/ Eloise Hamann (Mom)
I'm still at the computer and your Dad announced from the other room that Michael Stipe is on the cover of the entertainment section of one of our papers. The headline is REM's fortune is poised to 'Accelerate'. Their forthcoming album is named Accelerate and they will be participating in the SXSW festival in Austin. I guess this is Michael's birthday gift via your Dad.
It always makes your Dad sad to come to this site, but it makes me feel good to talk to you and to see that others remember.
I had a dream about you / Eloise Hamann (Mom)Read >>
I had a dream about you / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
I rarely remember my dreams but I dreamed about you last night and remembered it. I guess it was a reverse birthday present. You were an adult and not really dead. You had just dropped out for a while. You were in my car and I was driving so I couldn't get to you to hug you. I couldn't wait to tell the world but somehow got lost trying to get home. The few other dreams I've had of you, you were still a little boy.
I still think of you every day. Your novel, Brad Pitt Won't Leave Me Alone made the semifinalist list in a contest by Amazon.com. Your cousins and aunts have read it or are reading it. Pam is passing it around her book club. I need to be less timid about submitting it for publication. I've been doing it one at a time as I've done for Scheherezade's Pornography.
Heather is having your corned beef birthday gathering this year. She has recently furnished her living room and even more recently bought new dining room chairs so she wants to entertain. Chris, Vic, and Astrid are coming as they always do. Douglas and Chris are also coming. The red cake you love will be dyed green for St. Patty's Day. I can't remember if I usually did that for your birthday or not. I know I've made it in both colors. It's hard to think that this is the fourth such gathering. It helps for us to do this.
I don't think I told you that your uncle Les died. Yvonne misses him, but seems to be getting along OK.
I didn't tell you you have a new first cousin once removed. Evan is the father of a cute little baby girl, Ana.
Your Nana enjoys her great grandson Tanner. She gets to take care of him from time to time.
We got a picture of Taryn's Lola at Christmas time. She is beautiful. We have adopted Chris and Vic's Astrid as our surrogate grandchild. I thought I'd never be a refrigerator grandma but we have a great picture of her on a bearskin rug guess where? It is so funny as she has a bored supermodel expression on her face. We love her chipmunk cheeks!
It's chilly here this morning. I have to run out to get cream cheese for the frosting for your cake. It's the only thing I'm making for your feast although we'll go in early to help.
PS/ Brenda Gaines Hunter (none)
PS The last message was in reference to your not always understanding your sons' poetry--and how our kids often turn out to be so different than we imagine they would. The dude was deep. Close
He was gifted / Brenda Gaines Hunter (none)Read >>
He was gifted / Brenda Gaines Hunter (none)
I'm so sorry about the death of your son. He was gifted. I always thought of him as a future investment banker, stockbroker... because of his brains.
I have been around so many parents who wonder how their children turned out the way they did. I can tell you that you did nothing wrong. I've spoke with many people who have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia... who say there is no explanation.
Your son was brilliant and probably cared too deeply about things that he couldn't control. His writing was his way of taming his emotions.
I too will be looking for a publisher in 2008 for my memoir "This is How it Ends." It's been through critiques and editing and is ready to be published. I do have agent referrals. It's about my efforts to tame the grief I have around losing my mother years ago and finally for good. I don't know what we're to do with our grief. It seems that I've been grieving all of my life. Don't give up on Shannon's work, his songs and contribution to life.
You and Dr. Guzman have always been my favorite teachers and both have lost sons recently. I wish I could take away the pain.
Sometimes I think people are here for a short while just to give us joy; sometimes just to remind us of how special life is. I don't believe God ever takes people. I believe he accepts them.
Three years / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Heather is coming for this 3rd anniversary of missing you. We will light your candle and put up our Christmas Tree. You have a beautiful upbeat sister. She is the light of our lives.
I will probably spend the day reading your letters and looking at pictures. Heather has another part time job doing late afternoon traffic so won't come till about 7 p.m. She has a new idea for the tree this year which she is keeping to herself. I still want to use the white reindeer that you arranged flying up the tree.
I've been contacting publishers about your work. I have gained much empathy about how hard it is to break into publishing. There has been a positive reaction among friends and relatives to your Brad Pitt novel. Lori has been thinking of who would play Carol in the movie. I wonder who you would choose.
An article I wrote about losing you appeared in an online magazine. Andrew works there. http://www.divinecaroline.com/article/22137/25425-mother-s-grief
Nana is coming to our house for Christmas. Your cousin, Evan, is a father of a new baby girl.