I wrote this a week or two ago (time is passing very strangely right now, so I have no idea when it actually was) right before Shannon left for Egypt. I think that it still needs to be posted.
This morning marked the last time that I will see my Shannon for at least 10 months. That is probably the longest that I have ever gone without seeing her since meeting we met in grade 9 at QCHS. That was 12 years ago. 12 YEARS! Wow. Shannon and I were friends - but not particularly close, I think - throughout high school, but it wasn't until we both left for University - different universities - that we really truly bonded. When I log into my Hotmail account I'll sometimes go through some of the emails that we sent back and forth every day during our first year of university and I think, wow - we were so not grown up or even slightly mature! :) Even though we were at different schools, we had incredibly similar experiences - and I love the fact that I got to know some of Shannon's closest Calvin friends and that she got to know some of my closest Redeemer friends.
It's interesting - Shannon and I had similar interests and talents when it came to Academics in high school (French & English - though, perhaps Shannon only liked the teacher and not the subject when it came to English). The only place we differed was how much time we spent doing homework! That extra effort (and therefore extra knowledge) allowed Shannon to go on to major in French at Calvin, while I took up an English major - reading an entire novel over night is much easier than catching up on 3 new conjugations of verbs over night! Shannon travelled overseas and spent a semester living and studying in France; I travelled overseas and spent a semester living in England. While I hem'd and haw'd about applying to teacher's college to follow in the footsteps of the rest of my family, Shannon already had her feet firmly planted in her family's teaching footsteps. I chose not to become a teacher, but I did spend 5 months living in Japan and teaching English - Shannon is now leaving to spend 2 years living in Egypt and teaching French.
Neither Shannon or I were overly emotional about leaving grade 12 - we couldn't quite stand the typical grad songs of the day - "Friends Forever" by M.W.Smith, "The Graduation Song" by Vitamin C, etc... We were very aware that just because you're in the same class in high school it doesn't mean that you'll be lifelong friends with all of your classmates. I think that the experiences that Shannon and I have shared apart from each other over the past 8 years since leaving high school have really cemented our friendships - there's no obligation to be friends because we used to be friends, it's not common history that makes me want to hang out with her and be a part of her life - we've matured together, really found out what it meant to grow up together - we are able to love each other for who we are, not who we were. And I think that's awesome.
I'll miss my dear friend over the next 10 months - but I hope that she has an amazing time and a great adventure! Shannon Marcus - we will miss you on this continent!
If you want to see how Shannon is doing in Egypt, check out the link to her blog on the side---> "Excitement in Egypt".