Then I graduated and moved on to the enormous senior high school, and when Susie caught up the next year, I hardly noticed. Life went on. Then, twenty years later, after having moved around quite a bit, Joe and I returned to my home town and joined the Lutheran church. And who should I run into buy my old library groupie buddy! We picked up right where we'd left off, so long ago.
Sue had not had an easy life. During high school, she'd become pregnant and -- as was the custom back then -- was not allowed to see or hold her baby; he was whisked away from her and placed with a family who wanted a baby. Susie was a strong and healthy person; she pretty much had to be as strands of alcoholism wove their way through her family. After a failed first marriage, she met and married the love of her life, and after her dad's death, fulfilled her dream of opening a gift shop, "The Red Cardinal."
After one of her sons died suddenly, about fifteen years ago, she found an internet site where children who had been given up for adoption and women who had given up their children had the potential to connect. Miraculously, a year or two later she received a telephone call from that little boy she had never known.
Susie was out in Arizona this fall, taking care of that son after he'd been in a serious motor vehicle accident, when she experienced what she thought was a gallbladder attack. Off to the ER she went, only to find that it was not gallbladder but rather advanced lung cancer which had spread to her bones. This was on Thanksgiving Day. The next week she returned to Philadelphia and entered a wonderful care facility, Cancer Treatment Center of America, where she stayed until the disease claimed her last evening.
A funny, creative, patient, loyal, expressive woman of faith, Sue will be missed by so many.