I was having one of those crazy motherhood-freelancing-husband working late shifts-holiday season-pregnancy weeks that makes me wonder, “Why am I voluntarily adding blogging on top of all this again…?”
Then I received an email from the universe. Or more, specifically, an email from a very thoughtful stranger named Jill, who unknowingly knew just what I needed to hear.
Thank you, Internet, for enabling me to connect with Jill and, to the universe, for once again having eerily impeccable timing.
Who could you connect with today? Your message could be more important than you realize.
Hello, My name is Jill.
I was a friend of Sue in elementary school in Iowa. I am currently involved in the planning of a 50-year high school class reunion. In talking about invitations for people who moved prior to graduation, I thought of my dear friend Susie, so I did an Internet search for her mom, Shirley, so I could find Sue’s married name. I was saddened to learn that both of them had passed away.
Both were wonderful people. It was interesting to read about Sue’s life and accomplishments and see pictures of her as an adult. Thank you for your part in that. Although saddened, I am glad to have the information. I regret that Sue and I lost touch over the years. I think it was at the end of fifth grade when she moved away.
Sue was fun-loving and gregarious as an elementary school girl, and I have many fond memories of time spent at her house, which was only a block from school. We would sometimes go there for lunch (that was long enough ago that it was allowed). I remember she was the first person allowed to have boy-girl parties, and once her parents even demonstrated a very romantic “movie kiss” at one of those parties.
My husband and I moved back to the town 20 years ago, and whenever I drive by that house, I think of her. (If you’d like a picture of the house, I’d be happy to email one to you.) I also remember the apartment above the movie theater, where the family lived for a time. The building still stands, though it hasn’t been a theater for many years.
I plan to look for the book, My Castle Heart. My daughter-in-law’s father passed away last week, so three of my grandchildren and my great-granddaughter have lost a grandparent.
Wishing you continued success in all of your endeavors.
Thank you so much for the kind note. It meant more to me than you could know. That’s the reason for the blog: to carry on Sue’s legacy by being able to meaningfully connect with people who were either touched by or could learn from Sue (and Shirley). We miss them both terribly, but have made them an everyday part of our 3-year-old daughter’s life, who was lucky enough to know them, if only for a few short months.
We recently found out we’re expecting again, and it’s difficult to think that this child will never personally know them. But of course, we are the caretakers of that knowledge and those memories, and we will do our best to pass them on.
And, yes, please do send a picture of the house! It would be nice for both my husband and daughter to have it.
The family moved to Northwood, Iowa, where Shirley and Herschel owned a popular bowling alley and restaurant for many years. It became the prime hangout for all the neighborhood kids. One particular girl’s family was facing challenging times, and her parents even agreed to let the Drurys adopt her. So in high school, Sue gained a sister, with whom she remained close throughout her life.
The Drurys were a warm and generous family, loved and leaving a mark wherever they went. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to meet Herschel. He died from a stroke when my husband was in high school, but he seemed like an amazing character as well. Shirley certainly continued to love him all her days.
Please feel free to reach out to me as you’re planning your reunion. If you need any write-up on Sue, elementary school pictures, or anything else at all, I’d be happy to help. I know Sue would want me to!
And, if you’d like, follow the site. I don’t post specifically about Sue as often now, but she continues to be an inspiring thread in my journey, and I’m committed to making her book(s) a reality… even if it takes longer than I’d hoped with #2 on the way.
So, consider the question again: Who could you connect with today? You never know what your message might mean to them.