“The List”

22 Sep

Month To Do ListI have a life-changing treasure tucked away in the “Draft” folder of my e-mail. The subject line reads:

The best Xmas gift I could ever give both of us

I wrote it and read it to Sue on December 2, 2010, hours before she died. In truth, I had started it a few days earlier as “the gift for someone who has everything.” But in those final moments with Sue, it became a torch to give us both comfort as we headed our separate ways into the abyss. I know it has been invaluable for me. I hope it brought Sue some peace, too.

Here’s what it said.

I promise:

  1. I will love and care for your son until the end of my days.
  2. I will work ceaselessly to be as good of a mother to Szaba as you have been to Ryan, Patti, and Barb.
  3. I will institute semi-annual “Sue Days” to enjoy what you’ve always enjoyed: theatre, dining, splurging, and heartfelt talks.
  4. I will take Szaba on a London theatre trip for her 18th birthday.
  5. I will learn to sail. An unchecked item on Sue’s bucket list.
  6. I will make time for more art in my life.
  7. I will carry on your legacy of bringing joy and thoughtfulness into the lives of our family and friends.
  8. I will write that children’s book you always wanted to write for Ryan.
  9. I will participate in a 3 Day.
  10. I will try to be the hostess I’ve always admired in you: entertaining, present, stylish, thumbing my nose at inconvenience.
  11. I will explore the Grecian seas by chartered yacht. Something we had promised to do together.
  12. I will teach Szaba all of the wonderful things you have taught me.
  13. I will make you an everyday part of our lives.
  14. I will love you for infinity.

If you made your own list—for yourself or for a loved one who’s ill or passed—what would you promise?

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10 Responses to ““The List””


  1. Countdown to Me and You « My Castle Heart - October 25, 2011

    […] It’s time to face my demons: procrastination and fear of failure. Perhaps I should revisit My Sue List for […]

  2. A New View « My Castle Heart - October 30, 2011

    […] dovetails nicely with #6 on My List to Sue: “I will make time for more art in my life.” Sue was always urging me to spend more […]

  3. Mammogram « My Castle Heart - January 9, 2012

    […] history findings of the National Cancer Institute, I wasn’t willing to take that risk. Plus, I had promised it to Sue. So I made it […]

  4. Bereavement « My Castle Heart - April 24, 2012

    […] been on this bereavement roller coaster before, and I know there will be many dips and turns in the days to come, but this is my current state of […]

  5. 1-Year Blogiversary « My Castle Heart - August 22, 2012

    […] of us nurture, create, befriend, explore, play, achieve, inspire, remember, share, defy, and follow our bliss, in no particular order. This blog honors all […]

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

    […] “The List” […]

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

    […] It’s a delightful children’s picture book about what it is to be a kid: the innocence, curiosity, and optimism. Sue lauded those qualities in children and had her own book idea that celebrated just that. She never had a chance to write it, but let me assure you, I am keeping that torch lifted and lit. It’s on “the list.” […]

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

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

  9. Latest on the Book(s) | My Castle Heart - January 16, 2014

    […] second book was a promise I made to Sue, a dream she had gotten from her son (my husband) and asked me to bring to […]

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

    […] I’m moving forward with self publishing Tell Me About Grandma, soon to be followed by The Denim Jungle, another promise to Sue. […]

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