We were lucky to live nearby during the first years after she and her equally great hubby, Rick, moved to Idaho.
Spending special holidays together was a given back then. We also shared life experiences, buoying up one another when the going got rough and disappointments and even heartbreak threw us for a loop. Knowing that we had the support of someone who really cared was paramount in being able to overcome those challenges and go on.
We also spent a lot of time laughing. It was a standard joke at our house that Sue and Rick along with their kids, HAD to make their weekly trips to see us in order to satisfy their need for sugar.
Svelte as can be, then and now, they only provided healthy foods at their home for us to indulge ourselves. ... But our caramel popcorn ... all you could eat ... along with a funny movie became a favorite for us all.
Busy lives and distance, as we soon lived hundreds of miles apart, diminished greatly our get-togethers. But there's never been a time when something happens that reminds me of Sue and what we've shared, that it doesn't bring a smile and make me grateful that she's part of my life. ... Even better ... a relative!
That's why I'm sitting here thinking of her today and the struggle she's had with treatment for cancer. Wish so much I could be there to give her hug, cry with her when times are hard and even laugh with her, pretending that it's just a normal part of life to be nauseous and dizzy all the time ... as well as the ultimate humiliation for a woman ... hairless.
In her wonderful style, Sue started a blog about her experience (sueandcancer.blogspot.com) and bravely posted photos of the day that what was left of her beautiful blonde locks was shaved away.
Of course she cried, just as I'm crying now telling the story, but the important thing to know is, hair or not, she's the same wonderful example she's always been.
That's why in spite of everything, she proceeded forward to participate in a 25-mile Spinderella (bicycle) event, attends church each week, entertains friends and family at her home ... always wanting them linger, and still, no matter what, has that beautiful smile of hers for everyone she meets.
Just this past week I learned that Sue has nearly completed those life saving, hard on the body, chemo treatments and will now move on to radiation for a few weeks.
"I definitely have metal mouth, tiredness and nausea," she commented in her most recent post. "But I'm able to do light exercise and my appetite is really good!"
... And all I can say to that is: "How does a visit with some caramel popcorn and a funny movie sound, Sue? ... Really soon!"
♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at email@example.com.