January 24th is Shanna Michelle Frazee’s Birthday.
Sadly, she died at the age of 15 (1980-1995).
Did you know that if I had a baby girl, we were going to name her Shanna, after Shanna Frazee?
However, I had boys….
But Shanna’s legacy lives on through me in other ways, even without a namesake.
I keep in touch with her mother, Vicki Blankenship, and together we recently started working on a small book project in memory of Shanna.
I met Shanna when I was living in Denver, CO.
It was July 4th, 1995 and it was the first time I did not go back to Florida for the summer. It was a tough decision to stay in Denver for the summer, but it was the right call.
On July 4th, I took my roommates two dogs for a long walk and we ended up watching some of the fireworks. I stood next to Shanna, her brother Jared, and their dad. They were visiting Colorado and we were talking because they were playing with the dogs. I insisted they come to my house for lunch and the next day, the three of them came by and I served sandwiches, snacks, and juice.
They stayed for a few hours.
Shanna and I clicked. Her brother, Jared, was a great baseball player and so he hit some balls out back.
I also videotaped a few minutes of our encounter – and it turned out to become special memory footage.
I gave Shanna a pair of hiking boots I was not using – she was going on a hike that week and the boots were just sitting. I thought it would be a nice Colorado memory – some good ‘ol hiking boots are a great gift to bring home from the Mile High City. I also gave her my Cranberries music CD. We both loved the song Linger (here).
‘…. you know I’m such a fool for you….you’ve got me wrapped around your finger….’
Meeting this family was a God appointment for sure.
Shanna and I exchanged letters for a few months, but then I did not hear from her for a while.
Sadly, she was in a car accident on 11-3-1995 and died two days later.
The guy that was driving was drinking alcohol before he picked her up. He ran from the scene and did not get charged until later. He was eventually charged with reckless homicide and was sentenced to 5 years, but only did two. I hope he learned a lesson and I hope he never forgets the tragedy. I also hope he stopped drinking and driving. In fact, I hope everyone stops consuming alcohol and driving…. because the sad truth is that very credible people STILL drive buzzed, or tipsy, and because they have done it before, and they do not view it as “drunk” driving – they mistakenly minimize being under the influence and getting behind the wheel to drive.
Let’s keep speaking up about this – and let’s not be shy to speak up if we see this happening in front of us. Our speaking up could save lives.
And please don’t drink and drive……
I asked Vicki for a Shanna tidbit to share for this Happy Birthday post. She sent me this:
“Shanna was kind hearted, spunky, a tiny spitfire! Smart and Beautiful inside and out.
One day we were talking and she asked me if when we get married we “stay” married to one man our whole lives. I told her that that was the goal if possible.
Shanna had a funny look on her face and said, “That sounds boring.” She then walked off…
Shanna was clever and I have many memories of her off the wall remarks.”
Well I am looking forward to seeing Shanna on my welcome team when I get to heaven at my appointed time.
In the meantime, I will embrace this very day for what it has – and as the days unfold, I will sometimes remember those have left this world – like sweet Shanna Frazee.
And Vicki, I am so glad to share this connection with you.
Here is the little poem I made to go with Shanna’s memory collage:
Saw Love in the snow
Made My Heart Glow
Happy Birthday Shanna Michelle Frazee