Thursday, July 20, 2006
In a very moving response to our article in the Toronto Star, we have been happy and privileged to meet through email Lorna Larsen of Woodstock, ON. Lorna has been in touch with us over the past two weeks, recounting the story of her daughter, Shanna, who passed away May of 2005 of breast cancer at the age of 24. In her memory, Rob and Lorna Larsen have made a generous donation to Team 888 and asked us to be one of many who will carry on Shanna’s legacy.
We have read about Shanna’s joie de vivre and her many talents. The athlete, teacher, artist, friend and daughter, we have been reading the story of Shanna’s life and in each tribute, those who knew her speak of her energy and smile. In her pictures, you can see how she shined. As one young woman she touched wrote, “Shanna meant a lot to me and I promise to continue to use her life and death as a source of strength… an example of beauty. All I have to do is remember how she spoke to people, her giant happy smile, her dedication to things she loved, her responsible commitment to life in order to find positivity in this world. Shanna has touched everyone in their own personal ways and will always live on through us.”
During the World Championships, Lorna sent a timely and inspiring reminder to us:
“As you journey through life, chose your destinations well but do not hurry there. You will arrive soon enough. Wander the back roads and forgotten paths, keeping your destination in your heart like the fixed point of a compass. Seek out the new voices, strange sights, and ideas foreign to your own. Such things are riches for the soul. And, if upon arrival, you find that your destination is not exactly as you dreamed, do not be disappointed. Think of all you would have missed but for the journey there, and know that the true worth of your travels lies not in where you come to be at the journey’s end, but in who you come to be along the way.”
To commemorate Shanna and remind ourselves how precious life is, how lucky we all are, to remember and send love to our friends and family back home, and to continue to live our lives and to do our best to make our dreams come true… and to not take one moment for granted; we are going to put Shan’s flowers, an example of her artistic talent, on our boat.
The Larsen family is currently sailing with friends in beautiful northern Ontario. They sail a Tanzer 26 out of Midland.
Thank you Lorna for sending us your story and for inspiring us too.