Last weekend was very special. Saturday we hosted an afternoon Celebration of Life for my son, Mark Shonk. He passed away last December. We held it at our house. It was a very special afternoon. Some of my former high school classmates were present. Former transportation staff from Beech Grove City Schools stopped in and visited. A boy that lived a couple of houses down the street from us in East Grand Rapids, Michigan also showed up.
So many memories and wonderful stories were exchanged. My former classmate, Sharon Darko-David was there and while we didn’t have a chance to talk about any of my memories during the get-together last Saturday, I’ll do it now.
Several years ago, a lunch was planned with Sharon and her two granddaughters. I had met one of the girls, Daphne, the year before. We had a lot of fun and I was looking forward to meeting her older sister.
When I arrived at Sharon’s house to pick them up, Daphne came running toward the car shouting, “Shotgun”. During lunch the year before, I had given her the nickname, “Trouble”. It was apparent that the nickname was going to stick. Her older sister, Sophie and Sharon climbed into the back seat, and we were off to lunch.
After lunch, we headed to my house so the girls could meet Stuart (our Therapy Dog) and our chickens. My wife, Lyn introduced the ladies to the chickens and soon after that I noticed “Trouble” carrying one of the younger chickens around the yard.
Shortly after that, the girls noticed the houses on the other side of the fence. That is one of the fields that belong to the Southport Equestrian Center. After they visited with the horses for a while, we drove around to the center’s main area and saw some other horses and my friend, Charlie the Donkey.
On Saturday, our daughter, Michelle drove down for a Father’s Day visit and lunch date. Michelle was the original young lady to have the nickname, “Trouble” issued to her by me. Back in her teen years it was the perfect nickname.
There is a third “Trouble” that had entered my life at that time. Our youngest grandson, Trey was dating Diana. As I got to know her better, I issued the name “Little trouble” to her. She had been at our house the previous day when Sharon and her granddaughters were visiting.
Had Michelle been available that day, we could have maybe set a world record for the number of young ladies with the nickname, “Trouble” in one backyard.
Okay, back to the Celebration of Life part of this story. When Mark was ready to start second grade, we moved to East Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our neighbors that lived just two houses from us also had a son (Tom) starting second grade. Mark and Tom became great friends. Tom and his wife showed up for the celebration. I hadn’t seen Tom for maybe 40 years. It was so special to get caught up with them. They now live in Hammond, Indiana.
The very next day, Linda Doty-Williams showed up for the celebration. Linda and I were neighbors when we were young and lived on Madison Avenue. She now resides in Georgia and was home visiting her sister, Carole Sue. We had the pleasure of visiting and telling good stories for a couple of hours.
It was a very special couple of days. Thanks to everyone for stopping by. It was a special Father’s Day weekend.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools. He can be reached through email at email@example.com.