A lot can be said about Shane Hansell as a human being. Isn't that true of all cancer sufferers? Why is it that the most pure-hearted, selfless people are the ones who seem to be afflicted by this disease?
Early this morning when I learned of Shane's death, I was so angry and upset. I questioned God's existence and I wanted to scream at the universe. Why does this happen to people like Shane; why do some of the dregs of humanity deserve to stay on this earth instead of Shane?
I've had the day to process this and I'm working on turning the anger into gratitude. Anyway, it's important to think of the positive points:
-Shane had three very wonderful children. I've known Travis since 6th grade - not very well, but we were in a lot of classes together - and I know that he got a lot of his good qualities from his father. Allie is a beautiful, smart girl who has been an amazing mother to her little son, Anthony. And Reid - he's 16, just a year younger than my brother. Reid and John (my brother) are best friends, and have been best friends for about ten years.
-Shane was like a father to my brother. We don't have a father figure in our household; that's okay, but a boy probably could use a male role model from time to time. Shane held that role for John more than just time to time; he genuinely was a constant and amazing man for John to learn from and look up to. John was at their house all the time; he learned from Shane's words and actions, and I believe that he is a better person because of Shane. Maybe he doesn't know it yet, but he'll realize that when he's older.
-Shane was honestly, from an outsider's perspective, anyway, one of the most loving, compassionate, selfless husbands I ever knew. He treated his wife, Julie, with so much care and respect. I see so many marriages (not the new ones, but the ones that have lasted for a couple decades or more) filled with tension, coldness, and forced love. From what I could tell, Shane had nothing but honest love for Julie (and vice-versa.)
-He had a kidney removed in 1992 due to cancer. He got a lot better, and he was fine for many years. In 2006, cancer found him again, and he had his second kidney removed and was put on dialysis. That was six years ago; he said that he wanted to see his youngest son (Reid) turn 16. Sure enough, he fought hard - he was angry and frustrated and determined - and he made it. He saw his son turn 16, and he also recently visited Travis (the oldest) in Colorado. He did everything he could to be there for as long as he could for his family.
Shane, you have one of the purest souls of anyone I've been privileged to meet. Your family and friends love and miss you, but we'll focus on the fact that we're all so fortunate to have had you in our lives. I cannot even begin to imagine or comprehend how Julie and your three kids and your grandson must feel. Take care of them.