Index of Posts: Slices of Shona's Life
Memories of Shona

From Doug Bowles

Some who may read this will know me as a member of the UMKC Economics faculty and a colleague of Randy and Shona’s. Those who do already know me will also know about my wife Saima, another beautiful young woman of around Shona’s age (and also our colleague, working for the UMKC Center for Economic Information). On November 1 of last year, Saima suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage.  She spent two months fighting for her life in the ICU’s of St. Luke’s and KU Med Center hospitals here in Kansas City, then another two months of intensive inpatient rehab, followed by two more months in a day-long outpatient program.  Today she’s living at home, carrying out an ongoing self-managed therapy program, and anticipating returning to work by November of this year.  She’s looking forward to what amounts to a substantially complete recovery.

    Shona, tragically, was not so lucky.  And now, I find myself unable to emotionally separate these two events. The best way I can think to describe it for you is that Shona’s loss and Saima’s survival feel to me like two sides of the same coin.  You give it a toss, and you take your chances.  Your call . . . heads, or tails?

    Randy and I have always enjoyed a cordial professional relationship, and I’ve always had great admiration and appreciation for his work.  During their earlier years at UMKC, through Randy, I knew Shona in a casual social context.  Three or four years ago, though, she went out of her way to provide me with invaluable strategic support in a critical administrative battle over the academic doctoral program I direct.  Without her support, it’s a battle we could well have lost.  I and many others both in the Economics Department and in the university at-large, faculty and students alike, will always be grateful to her for the heroic service she rendered us at that time.  The intervening years, as is their wont, have flown by since then, and I didn’t have the chance see so much of Shona after that.  And now, of course, I wish I had.

    I haven’t seen or spoken with Randy since this happened.  But now, strange though it may seem, I feel much closer to him than I ever did before.  I hope when he gets back to Kansas City we can find some time to sit down together and share a bottle of wine.  I know it will do us both some good.

    Rest in peace, Shona Kelly Wray.

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