The following entry is from Sue’s dear friend Martha, who has become my dear friend as well. Martha e-mailed me the following note about the blog, and I was so touched that I had to share it with all of you (with her kind permission, of course).
Martha’s contribution here gives me new faith in the promise of my book: helping people gather memories about a lost loved one. Each of our recollections paint one little portion of the full, beautiful portrait of a life. Only by sharing our stories can we come close to assembling the essence of a person—not only for those who never knew them, but for ourselves as well.
Thank you, Martha!
Sue and I knew each other since the ’70s. I can hardly believe so much time has passed, and it’s like nothing ever changed between the two of us.
One of the first things I remember clearly is painting the inside of the duplex she owned … purple! We had a blast—and then had wine. We never did much without a glass of wine.
The good, long-time friends I have now are a result of Sue. She had a way of intertwining people, and we were all lucky to become the fabric of her beautiful friendships.
Our group, the “Golden Girls,” first got together in the early ‘80s. We would do theme dinners with our spouses. Then we started going on “Girls’ Trips.” It just blossomed from there: first weekends, then long weekends, then longer weekends. We went everywhere together, from the shores of rural Maine to the bustling cities of Italy.
I never remember a time that I called Sue and said, “Hey, let’s do XYZ,” and her response was anything but, “Okay. Let’s do it.” That’s one of the things I miss the most. Sue was always there to call and do things with. Now I try very often to do the same with people around me, whether neighbors, friends, or family. And I use that marvelous thrilling tone she used when she’d call me up and say, “Hey, what’s up girlfriend!?” Last weekend I even went to the Sing-A-Long Sound of Music with the gals across the street. Sue would have loved that.
The 3 Day … Oh, gosh … Her ability to pull things together and organize—and make it fun! Susan G. Komen events turned from something different to do with the girls to a profound dedication to finding a cure for cancer and helping those who suffer from it. At the clinic where she was treated she reached out to and helped so many people battling cancer. She’d meet them for lunch, dinner, or console. She got involved in other cancer organizations, too. How did she have the emotional wherewithal to do that? When I’d go to her chemo, she always looked so good, always dressed like she was going to an important meeting. Lots of the people just wore sweats. You know, I never wear sweats to the grocery store anymore …
I try to “Sue-anize” at least a couple times a week: smile more, be sweeter to people, think positive thoughts, and donate to the theatre, as she did. And I am always trying to find ways to be more like her. Otherwise, she’s gone for good, and we can’t let that happen.
A couple weeks ago I had a dream that I met Sue at a gathering. I told her how much I missed her. Isn’t that something, that we have those dreams? I always think it’s a way the departed try to make their presence known again. Well, that’s what I’m holding onto.
Thanks, Angela, for creating this blog to keep Sue present for all of us and teach the world about her. When the Golden Girls and I receive your e-mails, we’re immediately on the phone, discussing the latest post. We can’t wait for the next one!
Do you have a Sue story to share, or a story about a special person who changed your life through the way they lived theirs? If so, please share it with us. And remember to share it with the other people who miss and love them, too.