Thursday, January 01, 2009

Goodbye, Sue

Recently I traveled to Cleveland to spend some time with my cousin Brad and my uncle Jim.   We and a few other family members were gathering to support each other and say goodbye to my aunt Sue, who passed away on December 23rd.  While the reason for visiting was a sad one, I think we all had a wonderful time in each other's company, a testament as much as anything else to the love we all shared with Sue and the many, many happy memories we have of her.

Sue was always there in my life, all the way back to my earliest memories of growing up in Virginia where our extended family would gather in the summertime to run about in the fields and woods and float down Buffalo Creek on old innertubes.  She had a quiet presence but was always there with kind words, encouragement and a genuine interest in whatever was going on in my life.  I know that in my case I've pursued a number of different paths over the years and she was always curious about what I was up to and would listen as I would talk about whatever new hobbies or plans I had, offering advice or just letting me talk. 

Sue had enormous strength.  We all saw that in the last couple of years as she battled cancer and the difficult, painful complications from her treatment.  I won't say that you couldn't see her pain but you couldn't ignore the love she gave to everybody around her and took in equal measure.  We saw that strength in other years, too, during difficult times when her love and gentle fortitude kept hope alive when others found it hard to find.  

Sometimes it's hard to figure out the lines of kinship and friendship, and maybe not necessary to do so at all, but I do want to say that Sue was not just my aunt who I loved but also a friend, a good friend who I loved and will miss.  I will miss her but I'll always have the best part of her with me and I know that I'm stronger and happier for it.  

Love to all,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute to your aunt, Brian. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family...