So Chris sat on the rocks and waited. He waited while Tim called 911 on Thea's cell phone. He waited while firefighters with fins and masks and snorkels tried to find Shannon's body. He waited while additional rescue personnel in scuba gear did the same. He waited and remembered how good life had been for him and Shannon, and he understood that nothing would ever be the same again.
Nearly two hours went by. Suddenly Chris knew there was no need to wait any longer.
"Oh, Shannon," he said, watching as the body floated faceup to the surface of the pool. Then Chris followed the others away from the falls and up along the trail to whatever else life could possibly bring.
A little more than an hour after Shannon disappeared, Law and Baggs parked on the cinder drive at Rosewood and waited for either Rosemary Smith or her husband, Norbert, to return home. After about 15 minutes Norbert pulled up and said through his open window, "Hey, what are you guys doing here?"
It was Baggs who approached him and said, in a halting voice, "Norb, there's a problem. There's been a drowning, and it's Shannon."
Norbert gave a small, high-pitched laugh and shook his head in disbelief. April Fool's Day was only a few days away, and maybe this was some kind of sick joke.
"Norb, get out of the car," Law said. "We wouldn't kid around about something like that." Norbert stepped out, and he slumped heavily in the arms of the two men.
"I'll never forget what he said then," Baggs says. "We were both hugging him, trying to console him. And Norb said, 'This is the second child we've lost. I don't know if Rosemary will be able to make it.' "
In 1969, when Rosemary and Norbert were living on the Caribbean island of St. Croix, they endured the death of their two-year-old daughter, Jennifer, from leukemia—a death whose weight would not diminish until about seven years later, when Shannon was born. As an infant Shannon had looked so much like his late sister that Rosemary had wondered if God had given Jennifer back to them. Rosemary and Norbert are Catholic and at first were not inclined to give reincarnation much thought, but they couldn't help wondering. "I'd think, This is Jennifer," Rosemary says. "I never said it out loud. But I'd look at Shannon and think, Gosh. If ever there was a soul that came back, this was it."
The Smiths moved to Kauai in 1978, when Shannon was two years old. They bought an old farmhouse on what had been a macadamia plantation, then renovated it and started their popular B&B. Haole is what native Hawaiians call white foreigners and newcomers, but through the force of his personality Shannon shed the label and became as local as any native.