Shannon Tavarez’s battle with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia [AML] started only months after her Broadway debut in the Lion King as Nala. With her bright smile, beautiful soprano voice and small frame, she made a huge impact on the audience and despite her busy academic schedule, she displayed a professional maturity. She spoke openly about her disease on her website and gave hope to the entire world as she went through her struggle.
Upon her passing at age 11, on November 1, 2010, I was moved to write this piece as a tribute the this eleven year old who had lived so much and loved so deeply. Her light still shines...
A New Role Now
She has the brightest smile and a twinkle
in her eyes,
Coming here as an angel that’s gonna tell
us something new!!!
Not about her suffering; not about her fight;
But about Nala in the Lion King; and
Broadway shining bright!!!
She doesn’t know yet that she’s gonna be
the STAR here too.
Gift she is; Brave Heart we will call her.
Little Shannon; courageous and bold in
the face of pain and adversity;
Preparing her for a much bigger role on
an eternal stage.
Wow! Shannon…Go Shannon!!!
You stood your ground in a confrontation
with death and
Shannon took that final breath and won,
When she used it to start her new life;
Forgetting the struggle and strife.
Heavenly, precious, sweet child of God;
Have you ever seen anyone fit her robe of
royalty so well?
As though she already knew her role here
The pearly gates of heaven open
And the cherubs welcome her like playmates.
Look at Shannon now; smiling radiantly.
This is her opening night.
Already she’s getting cheers; wise, old
river running...just run.
The curtains will open now as Shannon
talks about the circle of life.
By Jennifer P. Lumley ©
Jennifer P. Lumley, a Jamaican native and long time Mt Vernon resident, is an internationally celebrated Author/Poet, Public Speaker, and Freelance Writer. A former Financial Specialist in Corporate America, with a love for poetry and short stories, she published her first work, ‘MIND SHAPER’, in 2009 and her second, ‘STILL LIFE’, in 2010.
For more information, visit her website at www.Jenuinpoetry.com or via email at
or by telephone at (914) 663-5161.