June 2nd, 2009

blueberry fall


I just received news through a caringbridge update that a friend and client who battled cancer this spring passed away not two hours ago.

I'm not the one to offer condolences to. No one I know on lj knew her. But she was part of my life for many years, from the time The Dude was stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH.

She had a distinctive speaking voice and was very down to earth. The mother of three children, she defended me at a dinner party when another wife asked why I didn't have any children. And I was the ranking wife at this party. This junior officer's wife wouldn't stop pressing me about why I had no children and I didn't consider it polite to ask her to stop, even though I was a major's wife. It was her gaffe, her issue, presumably from deep convictions. She was backing me into a corner, though. And Susan told her to lay off in that very frank way she had. Among other things, when a couple has been married 15 years and has no children, there might be a medical reason for the lack. In my case, there wasn't, but there might have been, and it was no one's business why. Susan saw that, despite her own love of children and desire to have more.

She was always late getting information to me, always casual about everything, very much an entrepreneur and extrovert. Her life was her home and her family, she was their heart and center. She was happy with that life, believed children should have a parent around while they were growing up, provided daycare to other parents so her kids had playmates. As they grew up and needed her less, she took on her own projects, remodeling the house and creating an eBay seller's empire. I talked to her once or twice a year, saw her once a year. And every time the meeting and the talk was a breath of fresh air. Susan was my polar opposite. And sometimes that fills a niche in your life, shakes your status quo in a good way. Susan shook mine every year.

I'm posting because I can. Because I'm a writer and words are my tools and my blog is a memory-catcher, catching and holding a small piece of Susan for as long as there's an internet archive of this entry.