Yesterday we got about an inch of snow and the school where I teach did not have class. (That town got a couple of inches.)
Keep in mind this is Oklahoma and we can deal with unrelenting heat waves, drought and tornadoes, but we buckle when it comes to snow. We do not have dozens of snow plows waiting to clear the highways. We do have a few, but it takes a while to clear. And in the meantime we Okie's drive like crazy folk!
Now on Tuesday I am having parent/teacher conferences at school this afternoon and evening after a day of classes. Sometimes those go well, and sometimes they can be a little challenging. I am hoping for good ones!!
After I get out of parent/teacher conferences I am going back home and meeting up with one of my sons and we are headed out to our former hometown in the furthest north town in Kansas.
It will take us till the wee hours of the morning to get there. Even worse, is the reason we are headed out to drive all night.
We are going back to pay respects to our friend Susie, who lost her fight with brain cancer on Friday night.
|Susie, with my son Coulter hugging her, and two of Coult's best friends...all former lifeguards for Susie. This was a couple of months after her diagnosis.|
I have met a lot of people through my years and I have never, ever met anyone as GENUINELY kind and sweet as Susie. I know there are a lot of people that try to act like they are kind and sweet, but there was no acting in Susie.
She taught at the early elementary level for 19 years and managed our towns aquatic park for 15 years. As one of my daughters pointed out, on any given summer day, Susie was dealing with enormous amounts of "pool rats" (as the lifeguards dubbed them....children that use the pool as a baby-sitting service). In addition she was dealing with a dozen or more teen age lifeguards as well. All five of my children worked for her, and some worked for her for five years. None of them can ever think of one single instance where Susie lost her temper, was aggravated, or even put off by anyone.
Each child she met could count on her. Whether it was at school or at the pool, they knew Susie was a safety net. A very, very loving safety net. She did not just teach them at school and guard their lives at the pool, she single-handedly spoke to their hearts and truly loved on them.
|A giant get-well card outside the aquatic park last summer. It was the first time in 15 years that Susie did not run the pool.|
Susie had four children which were the same ages as my five. We have gone to so many ballgames, banquets, concerts and school events together. We would leave school and oh-so-often find ourselves at the grocery store together looking for something to cook (quickly) for our broods. No matter what, Susie had time to smile and talk in her soft, sweet voice. Everything about my life included Susie for 17 years. We went to all the same places and shared many friends. I taught her children, she employed mine. I cannot imagine my little Kansas town without her.
|A collage I put together of a benefit the lifeguards put on for Susie.|
As I called each of my "grown" children on Friday and relayed the news of Susie's homecoming, each child began to cry. I clung to the phone and cried with each of them. I told my Hubs later that that was a testament to Susie's worth. Five grown children crying hard over the death of a non-relative. We each feel we have lost someone special.
To say Susie touched our lives would also NOT be cliche'. She not only touched our lives, she found ways to make us each better people.
We have a little saying at our house that we call the "Susietude". When we catch each other being catty, or not-so-kind about anyone or anything, we say, "Do you need to get the Susietude?" It stops us in our tracks and makes us think.
Tomorrow morning I will be with, (my guess is), most of the town of Hiawatha, Kansas, as we gather together to memorialize our good friend Susie.
I can only imagine how happy the angels in Heaven are to welcome one of their own....Home.
|This collage by Deb Christian|
This is a link to Susie's "Praying for Susie" FB page. Check it out to see how much happiness one person was able to bring to SO many!