Today is the day that I remember my dearest friend who wrote this lovely poem 22 years ago. She was an amazing young woman. You’ll see why when you read her poem and her story at the bottom of this post.
I am Shawne O’Dell, age 32, born in Denver Colorado
On a blustery November morning, at precisely 10:11am.
I am writer, I have a story to tell.
I am a story.
I have many chapters, pages, words lying betwixt my pages.
I am a symphony.
I have music within, that, yearns to be played.
Rich rhythms, sounding cymbals, marching drums
and wistful violins that crescendo to a climax at the end.
I am a poem, with rhymes and fractured ends.
Sometimes, the poetry flows from me, and sometimes it appears to dry up.
Like life, you stir it up and it comes bubbling out again.
I am a creator.
I create words that are pleasant to the ear.
I create happiness and encouragement in my listeners.
I bring a smile to a dreary face and bring love to the place.
I am happy.
I have something to share.
My life is an open vessel, that, I encourage others to drink from.
I am a creation of God.
Wonderfully and beautifully made by a creator, that is
infinitely wiser, nobler, and more loving that I could than I could ever be.
I am a daffodil.
I am growing a little more each day.
I have died and been born again, with new life coursing through my veins
and my head straining towards the sun.
I am an American born believer in the home of the free.
The land of opportunity, a peaceful home of the brave and proud,
that, has opened her heart, that, others can be brave and proud with dignity.
I am a blessing counter.
We have so many things to be grateful for.
For the life within,
for the breathe to sing, for fingers to write poems,
for a country that is free and has dignity,
for free religion and expression.
I am happy. All these things are mine.
I met Shawne in 1985 when she was going to NC State University to get her Bachelor’s in Special Education. At that time she had already lost her eyesight at 27 years old due to complications of childhood diabetes. About 3 years later, she lost function of her kidneys resulting in the need for a home dialysis procedure 4Xs a day every day.
Even today I marvel at my friend’s faith. How could she write such beautiful words like the ones above when she was living through such storms? She was my inspiration. I miss the symphony of her rich rhythms, her stories, her happiness, her encouragement, her creativity, and her bright smiles of love.
Shawne, I know it’s 20 years since we said good-bye, and I’ll know we meet again in heaven, but I still miss you girlfriend. You taught me to be a blessing counter too – inspite of my circumstances. I love you. Always will.