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Prayer Request, Please


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My daughter-in-law, Shannon, is having a very rough time. Only a few days ago she got word that her uncle (her mom's brother) was horribly beaten and strangled to death and left in the basement of the restaurant he owned in a hate crime. His mother and brother came in from out of state to claim the body and found him so badly damaged that he cannot even be dressed so he will be shrouded and placed in a closed casket. They are talking about a graveside ceremony on Thursday which his brother, a minister, will perform.

This has been horrific enough but it doesn't end there. Shannon's mother, already in a very bad state from the shock of her brother's death, was admitted to the hospital the other night with what was assumed to be an asthma attack. She has gone into pneumonia (on top of smoking, asthma, and emphysema) and was just diagnosed with COPD. They were also talking about a possible CT or MRI of her head to check for stroke. While in the hospital she had a 'mild' heart attack. Her breathing is so bad they have a forced-air oxygen mask on her and are talking about a possible trach tube insertion. She is supposedly having an angioplasty tomorrow and is currently in CICU. The doctor said she could go either way. The prognosis is turning more and more grim by the hour. They are going to the hospital to discuss her wishes tonight. My son, Shaun, has been her medical advocate on numerous occasions (part of the joys of growing up in a medically-complex family) and is stepping up to handle the role of man of the family (her father and brothers cannot) so a tremendous responsibility will be on him. Please pray for all involved in these simultaneous nightmares.

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OOooH Noooo that is absolutely tragic!!! First let me offer you my deepest condolences and please pass this on to your niece as well!! I shall pray for you and your family during this time of great turbulence that you may all find respite soon! You shall be in my heart and definately my prayers throughout your family's tragedy! Please remember to take time for you, take a deep deep breath, grab a cup of some soothing tea and hang in there!


Vera pray

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Thank you both for the prayers (and to Valorie for the lovely PM.) Unfortunately I haven't been able to do anything to help yet. I'm tied up with jury duty and can't get away!!!

The one who's currently holding it all together is Annie. This girl just got back from a retreat this weekend to close up and winterize the camp she worked at this summer. Since arriving home she has been taking care of both little sick nephews during the day (ready for this?) WHILE taking phone messages and coordinating all information and keeping everyone in touch via computer! My other daughter, Laura, has already made arrangements to take off work as soon as she's needed so that she can take care of Shaun and Shannon's three kids (this is the family with baby Jessi) so they are free to do what they need to do. It looks like the trial will wrap up tomorrow and then I'll be able to jump in and make meals for the families, help with babysitting, help with advocacy and advise Shaun... Until then all I can do is give Shaun the hours I get off and help the family in the evenings. (I'm also helping Annie coordinate phone information.)

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Kathy Lee. Having known you for a while now and having not just met, but also experienced the unique strength and generosity of your family I too am saddened by you all facing more drama that seems so much outside of your control.

I realise that this may be of no comfort, but I can think of no other family that will see its way through this and find positive things at the end than yours. The pain you guys feel IS real! Not for one moment would I deny that and never would I wish this on anyone, especially you guys.

To me the testament to us all here is the way in which the various members of your family "pitch in" to share the burden, deal with the hard stuff and make decisions that keep things moving forward.

The horror of murder is to me incomprehensible; the added impact on Shannon's mum's health mind-blowing and your own responsibilities being torn between the jury duty and family so tough.

Keep strong, support each other and we here at EC.com are already saying we are "rooting" for you all and our prayers will be a commitment we must keep.


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Thank you all for your kindness. Now that a couple of things are resolved I have a moment to bring you up to speed. To attempt to answer a couple of Tony's questions:

Shannon's uncle was murdered because he was gay therefore it's been deemed by the police as a hate crime. It is believed to have been someone known by him who did this. To my knowledge at this moment one person has been questioned but no one has been held. His memorial service was yesterday morning (there will be a headstone ceremony in June for what would have been his birthday for which we will try to be present.) Shannon's family is very fractured so she saw people she hasn't seen in 20 yrs! Things went well in that respect and she has reconnected with several people now! Shaun was asked to be a pallbearer and consented. He walked up to the uncle's mother and brother and "thanked them for the opportunity to show respect to his life." I thought that spoke volumes of Shaun's character and was very proud of his depth of compassion.

Shannon's mother, Batty, is appx 60 yo. She is a life-long heavy smoker so she has asthma, emphysema, newly-diagnosed COPD, chronic pneumonia, and newly-diagnosed weak heart muscles. An angiogram showed there was no blockage, just the weak muscles, so a plan is being formed to have a defibrillator installed to keep her heart rate up and 'restart' her so to speak. Apparently this takes awhile so she will most likely be sent home in a couple of days and will be brought back at some determined time to have the surgery. She is improving according to the doctors.

As for why my life is like this and what's going on here I truly don't know how to respond. Honestly, this is par for the course in my family. We function best in crisis mode because we're so used to it! You can't deal with both physical and mental health issues and NOT be used to it! LOL As far as those around us, why things happen as they do is in God's hands.

Our attitude is this: You can let the things that happen in your life (or those around you) paralyze you and render you useless OR you can gain knowledge and experience and try to figure out how you can use these to pass on to others and make a difference. Recently it was discovered that my back pain I've had since childhood was not an injury but is actually a genetic defect and my spine is deformed. In the jury lounge I was talking with one of the staff at the desk in a wheelchair. I mentioned that I needed to get to my chiropractor and acupuncturist because my back hurt so much from sitting so many hours in those chairs. She said that she was considering alternative treatments and would I be willing to share their names. I told her about them and their methods of treatment and gave her their cards. I've chosen not to let the problem paralyze me with fear/anger and to use it to help others. Same with Shaun (second nature) as HE is the one who his mother-in-law calls to come to the hospital and converse with the doctors. She calls him her "guardian angel". It's all in how you choose to look at it and let God use you, my friend! <Smile>

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