We held a celebration of my sister’s life a couple of weeks ago. Several of us spoke–family and friends–and this is what I read.
So many of you have expressed your shock and grief over Susie’s passing, and have talked about the ways to keep her memory alive.
I have a few suggestions.
If you do any of the following things, think of them as “Susie moments,” and when they happen, and you take notice, think of them as your own Susie moments going forward.
To get you started:
- When you are the first to arrive at the party and the last to leave after helping with both setup and cleanup, this is a Susie moment.
- When you receive a wedding invitation and decide what you’re going to wear that same day, or
- When you pack for your next trip three months in advance, these should be recognized as Susie moments.
- When you describe what you had for lunch or dinner, and you use your hands, this is a classic Susie moment.
- When you compose letters to friends and family on scraps of paper or receipts, and keep them all, it’s what Susie would do.
- When you pack more events into a weekend than seems possible, that is a definite Susie moment, especially if you urge your friends to come along.
- When you decide to work to live and not the other way around and make it work, you’ve had an important Susie moment.
- When you step up and cut the wedding cake, because no one else knows how to—think of her.
- When you travel enthusiastically and garden with impunity, these are Susie moments.
- If you have a sister, utter the occasional loving, sisterly put-down. It was a long-standing tradition between us, and nobody did it better. I’ll miss that.
- When you make that “tsk” sound when you find a typo, a homonym, or the wrong “it’s” anywhere in print, you have just had a Susie moment.
- When you stay to hear Tony Bennett sing “I left my heart in San Francisco” after a Giants win, there’s another one.
- When you root for the home team, no matter what, year after year after year like she did…
- When you go the extra mile for your friends or family, that’s a definitive Susie moment.
- When the occasion calls for retail therapy, you heed the call with gusto.
- When you have the opportunity to dance, you dance.
- When you bake ahead and freeze, think of it as a Susie moment.
- When you go to the store, buy a birthday card, put a stamp on it and mail it–forget Facebook and all that—this is the Susie way.
- When you tell a story, you never say, “To make a long story short.” The short version is never as good. And small world stories are the best, always. Saying “small world,” makes it a Susie moment, for sure.
- When you come to stay as a house guest and take over the kitchen to make several meals that are enjoyed by all, it’s what she always did too. This is a Susie moment to savor and share with the ones you love.
- And when you face your biggest challenges in life with doubts and fears, which later give way to strength and determination…when you do even this one last thing the way you choose…that is the Susie moment I’ll always remember.
I urge all of us here tonight–present in both body and spirit—to keep Susie alive in our hearts, as her great-nephew Fenton says– by celebrating the Susie moments in our own lives, every day.