Monday, November 10, 2008


This month I try to accept the loss of my beloved first-born son, Donnavon Shane Shanigan. As a mother and parent, I expected to precede him in death. The alternate scenario seems to break one of the most basic laws of nature. Just as I nurtured and guided him through infancy and youth, I expected him to be there to help and guide me through old age and dotage. His untimely death is difficult to comprehend, much less accept.

This cherished photo is Donnavon's first Thanksgiving. He was about 9 months old. My mother taught me that family gathers around a table of food on birthdays, holidays and other special occasions to celebrate the joy of the event. In this case, Donnavon was just beginning to eat solid food--you can see his high-chair tray litered with black olives and small bits of turkey. As a joke, his daddy handed him the entire turkey leg; Donnavon promptly stuck it in his mouth. The whole family laughed and someone grabbed a camera to record the comical scene.

I will miss Donnavon's insistence that I must bake pecan pie, as well as pumpkin. Last year he actually baked the pecan pie, a pecan chocolate version that he wanted to try. I will miss his dumping garlic powder on everything. I will miss his grumbling that last year's stuffing was better.

I miss Donnavon so much .... Here are some photos of Donnavon doing what he enjoyed most: