In Loving Memory

15 Aug

This site is dedicated in loving memory to Sue LaGow A week from today, Sue would’ve been 65. Instead, she is gone, robbed of the rest of her incomparable life by breast cancer.

In title, Sue was my mother-in-law. More importantly, she was my mentor, inspiration, and dearest friend. And there are literally hundreds of people who would say the same thing about Sue. She had this incredible way of making you feel like you a special significance in this world and that you were uniquely treasured by her.

Her soul was a rare gem, glowing with tenacity and joy, pulling people in.

For those who knew her, we lost a beacon of life the day she died. And for those who didn’t—my baby daughter, Szaba, included—they missed the chance to see life the way only Sue saw it.

But Sue’s legacy is too powerful to let that happen. That is why I started this Castle Heart project.

For Sue and all of the other incredible people who’ve been taken from us before they were done teaching us all they had to teach—and especially for the grandchildren who need to know them through us—this is for you … and for them.

Sue lives on in the castle of my heart. She sets it aglow with her love, lessons, and life story. And if you take a look inside, you’ll find treasures waiting for you there.


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38 Responses to “In Loving Memory”


  1. Smile, I’m Listening « My Castle Heart - February 17, 2012

    […] the core of this blog is my desire to help. So please, point me in the right direction. My blog is Sue’s blog. And […]

  2. Play Kitchen « My Castle Heart - March 6, 2012

    […] Sue always loved cooking and taught Ryan to love it when he was a boy. I hope special times spent together like these will foster a similar love of food in my daughter. We all have to eat after all. Might as well learn how to do so healthily and, better yet, enjoy it! […]

  3. Sing Out! « My Castle Heart - March 16, 2012

    […] debuted in one my favorite movies, Harold and Maude. I recall watching that movie with Sue, both of us cuddled up under blankets. We sang along to the tune at the end, couch dancing with […]

  4. Share « My Castle Heart - March 28, 2012

    […] it simply a result of being a parent? Or getting older (and presumably wiser)? Or coping with Sue’s death and taking her lessons to heart? Maybe it’s the magic combo of all three. Or perhaps the […]

  5. Arroz Con Pollo « My Castle Heart - June 4, 2012

    […] most of you know, since my mother-in-law’s death I’ve been on a mission to find ways to keep the memory of Sue alive for my baby girl. That […]

  6. New Perspective « My Castle Heart - August 10, 2012

    […] she saw a certain spark in me that she admired in her friend Barb, an accomplished painter. Sue was magical like that. She saw her friends and family through a rose-tinted filter of promise. Whether what […]

  7. 1-Year Blogiversary « My Castle Heart - August 22, 2012

    […] coincidentally, I started this blog one year ago in her […]

  8. 9 Years & Counting « My Castle Heart - August 24, 2012

    […] anniversary to my husband, without whom I would be, know, have, appreciate, and understand so much […]

  9. 3 Days with Shirley « My Castle Heart - August 27, 2012

    […] year at this time, I was cheering alongside Sue’s family and friends at the Minneapolis-St. Paul 3 Day for the […]

  10. Grandparents Day « My Castle Heart - September 10, 2012

    […] talk a lot about Sue and Shirley and how I’m making it my mission to make them an everyday part of Szaba’s […]

  11. Why I Want My Daughter to Be a Gamer « My Castle Heart - September 17, 2012

    […] people to tell their stories, be themselves, think strategically, be creative, and live playfully. Sue inspired me to live thusly, and it’s been a fire in my soul ever since. I want these things […]

  12. Carpe Diem « My Castle Heart - September 17, 2012

    […] who did I call to invite along with us? Sue, of […]

  13. The Game Father « My Castle Heart - September 24, 2012

    […] Grandmas Sue and Shirley went to special lengths like this for Aaron and the rest of their grandchildren when they were alive. Szaba is the only one of those grandchildren to grow up without their generous involvement, and this game father concept has given my nephew a proactive way to keep their spirit alive for himself and for Szaba—in the process giving both of our families a happy reminder of their legacy. […]

  14. Dia de Los Muertos « My Castle Heart - November 2, 2012

    […] that much any more. That’s the nature of people and life: We evolve. But loving and losing Sue (and now Shirley) continue to be my guiding compass. As sad as it makes me at times, it’s […]

  15. Elect to Party « My Castle Heart - November 5, 2012

    […] there’s one thing Sue and Shirley loved, it was a good party. We may not have always seen eye to eye on politics, but […]

  16. Inspiring Minds: Bruce Lee « My Castle Heart - November 7, 2012

    […] with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to […]

  17. Thanksgiving Crafts « My Castle Heart - November 12, 2012

    […] to all the things we’re thankful for this holiday, not the least of which are our families, friends, and shared times […]

  18. Inspiring Minds: Jamie Lee Curtis « My Castle Heart - November 14, 2012

    […] Sue had a thing for Jamie Lee Curtis. She respected her, related to her. And the more I learn about Jamie (and myself), I do, too. […]

  19. Giving Thanks « My Castle Heart - November 21, 2012

    […] Sue: For overfilling my soul with love, inspiration, joy, and memories. For making me a better person through your example. […]

  20. Symphonic Resonance « My Castle Heart - January 9, 2013

    […] to the symphony was a tradition Sue started for us last year. She bought us tickets to six shows for our 2010 […]

  21. How to Live to 100 « My Castle Heart - January 21, 2013

    […] if it’s lunch at work. Food should be paired with leisure and conversation whenever possible. Sue would be a big BIG fan of this […]

  22. Taxing Poetic | My Castle Heart - March 25, 2013

    […] that Shirley, my incredible grandma-in-law, died nearly a year ago. It was a year after I started this blog in memory of Sue, her daughter. Needless to say, this second blow was all the more crippling […]

  23. Why Blog? | My Castle Heart - May 20, 2013

    […] a valid question, and certainly one I scrutinized before jumping in. But I have to admit, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the results of this 1.5-year […]

  24. Every Woman Needs to Know This | My Castle Heart - June 24, 2013

    […] this is a big deal to me. I left those appointments very unsure of the results, and I promised Sue I’d do everything in my power to stand guard against this disease that took her as well as my […]

  25. Pure Happiness | My Castle Heart - June 26, 2013

    […] it, I’m transported back to Spain, September 2009, on a bus to Rhonda with a contended Sue by my side… What moment of pure […]

  26. Drink! To Your Health! | My Castle Heart - June 26, 2013

    […] (Sue would SO approve.) […]

  27. Recognize a Mentor | My Castle Heart - June 26, 2013

    […] I had the blues and was confused last winter, coping with Sue’s death, someone referred me to Kerry’s book workshop. That 4-hour experience helped me realize my […]

  28. Honoring a Sue Tradition | My Castle Heart - June 27, 2013

    […] we’re honoring a Sue tradition. She always took her grandkids to the theater over the holidays, so we’re […]

  29. Tradition | My Castle Heart - September 26, 2013

    […] Anyway, the following fall, my boyfriend at the time (now husband) was working long hours on the original Xbox and Halo. Marooned in a new town, I decided to take an extended trip to Minnesota to spend some quality time with one of my favorite people in the world: my soon-to-be mother-in-law, Sue. […]

  30. Great Expectations | My Castle Heart - October 3, 2013

    […] I remember finding out we were pregnant with Szaba like it was yesterday. We had just returned from Spain. It was a rainy October day like this one. I told Ryan when he came home from walking Pavlov, and we immediately called Sue. […]

  31. Nostalgia | My Castle Heart - October 17, 2013

    […] Sue and Shirley once visited that home, too, for my wedding shower. They were so comfortable there, especially Grandma Shirley. It was a house of her time, and it felt like she belonged there. I can picture her chatting with my dad on the deck, a symphony of frogs and crickets blanketing out their long, private conversation. It made me realize, “I bet he misses having this with his own mother, who would’ve been Shirley’s age.” […]

  32. Strong Females in Literature Costumes: Year 1 | My Castle Heart - October 31, 2013

    […] to move on to a different theme—yet wanting to somehow continue the tradition Sue started—I decided to kick off a new […]

  33. Mourning | My Castle Heart - November 21, 2013

    […] in honor of Sue or whomever it is you’re missing today, let’s commit to doing 10 things in their […]

  34. 10 Things in Honor of Sue | My Castle Heart - December 2, 2013

    […] rather than throwing a pity party, I do the following 10 things every year on this anniversary, in honor of her life, not […]

  35. The Hard Part Begins | My Castle Heart - December 12, 2013

    […] many of you know, this blog began because of Sue. I needed a positive way to cope with grief, new motherhood, and the task of teaching my child […]

  36. Directions | My Castle Heart - February 10, 2014

    […] vivid dream about both Sue and Shirley, which woke me (in tears) one balmy Hawaii morning, waves crashing outside my window […]

  37. Inspiring Minds: Homaro Cantu | My Castle Heart - February 13, 2014

    […] taste metallic and rubbery, and she was looking for something to help her enjoy food again. (Sue struggled with this, […]

  38. Parenting Under the Influence | My Castle Heart - March 24, 2014

    […] I lost my adored mother-in-law, Sue, and grandmother-in-law, Shirley, mere months after having my first child, the thought of raising […]

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