June 3rd, 2016

Mo Sista Shannon shares how her dad’s spirit inspires her even after his passing

Work Hard, Play Hard
My dad was my best friend, mentor and amazing father. He lost his life in late 2011 when he suffered a sudden and massive heart attack. At the time, I was the mother of a small boy. Fast forward five years and I am now the mother of three small boys. In 2015, I decided to celebrate my father’s memory and being a MOB (Mom of Boys) by getting involved with the Movember Foundation. With my dad’s spirit, my boys energy and my team’s support I became a top five Mo Sista fundraiser for the cause in the US. Here is the speech I gave at my father’s funeral and a little bit of an insight as to why he was so amazing and how his spirit has allowed me to be amazing at everything I set out to do.  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

“Thank you all for being here today and for the continued prayers and support over the past few weeks. It means the world to my family and to me and I know that Terry is so very excited to see each and every one of you here today.

I could stand up here all day and tell you stories about my dad, but instead I picked just one.  
When my parents dropped me off at Marquette University in the summer of 1997, my dad gave me four words of advice that would shape my life from that day forward. As he said goodbye and walked out of McCormick Hall, he looked me in the eye and simply said, 'Work Hard. Play Hard.'

As I started each new chapter in my life, I often thought of this quote. This simple piece of advice helped me make many life decisions and will always remind me of my dad. I truly believe that this simple yet profound advice, along with the love and support of my parents, made me who I am today.  

I am so blessed to have had such a wonderful father for 32 years. He was our dad, an ever-loving husband to my mom, Declan’s Poppie, Reggie’s beer buddy, my career mentor and above all, my best friend. He answered every phone call I ever made and supported me through every emergency I ever had – even if it was as silly as calling him at 4 AM California time when my car was stuck in a snowy Chicago alley and I was without boots or a shovel.  

God brought you home too soon but I think Grandpa was lonely and ready for a friend. I hope you are spending some time at the big concert venue in the sky with Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, Les Paul, Kurt Cobain and The Big Bopper.  

I know that you would have hated being old. Now you will be by my side forever and for always. You will be missed more than words can ever express.  

Thank you all so much for being here, loving us, praying for us and celebrating my dad’s life. Today I ask that we celebrate my dad’s life. We can all cry another day, but today, let’s all have some fun. Terry would not want this to be the day that the music died."

Please remember to take care of yourself and to remind the men in your lives to take care of themselves too. Life is too short to wait to make a difference. Here’s to all the men in our lives!

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