My cousin is dying. She's a beautiful person who has only been on this earth for 47 years. She has been battling cancer for several years but now she is losing the fight. We haven't been particularly close since we became adults, but as a child I always looked up to her since she was the oldest of us. I wanted to be just like her, I was envious of her looks, her personality, her "perfect" family, etc. (yep, I was a bratty child/teenager)
Shannon always wanted a large family but was unable to have children. She and her husband adopted two great kids from Korea and have been outstanding parents. Their youngest child is developmentally disabled and requires a lot of care. Both she and her husband have been incredibly devoted to their children and their faith, donating uncounted hours of their time and money to their church mission.
I know that she believes she is going to a better place where she will be with her mother and grandmother, both of whom she loved dearly. I also know that she will be missed every day by those she is leaving behind. Your thoughts and prayers for her family would be much appreciated. ***edit: She passed on 2/22/2007 around 1:45pm PST. Funny how even when something is expected, it can still knock you for a loop. This is the first of my generation of family that has passed away and it has left a hole in my life that can't be filled.***