25 November 2002
Susan is dead.
Ned sent me an e-mail to let me know. He said he doesn't have any
details, but just found out.
Susan is...was...the mother of Ned's best friend. She was a
good friend of ours. Apparently she went to take a nap and never woke up.
I am sitting here stunned. Writing this because...well...because
writing is what I do when I feel like this. But I have no answers. I only have emotions
and the emotions are bouncing all over the place right now.
I only found out ten minutes ago.
I went looking for information on Susan through Google. In her
younger years she had been a dancer with the Rockettes. Later she founded the magazine Dance
Teacher Now and still later a second magazine, Stage Directions (a magazine
especially for community theatre people). She ran both out of her living room here in
Davis for years until they got big enough that she moved them to an office in West
Sacramento, and then moved the whole operation to North Carolina. She sold both magazines
a few years ago and has been retired.
I found a cite for a tribute to Susan on the eve of her retirement,
but it's one of those articles that you can only get if you subscribe to the magazine.
She had MS, which I didn't know until I'd known her for a long time.
She had one of the milder cases and it was only in the last few years that she even began
needing a cane to walk.
Several years ago, we were traveling in England and Ireland with my
mother. Before we left, we learned that Susan and her friend Rosemary were also going to
be traveling in Ireland, so we made plans to meet them for dinner and a show one night.
This photo is from the night in Ireland...
My mother is on the left, Susan is in the middle
and cousin Nora--who just had major heart surgery--
is on the right. Bad photo but...
It really was a fun evening--especially the weirdness of meeting
someone from home in Ireland for dinner.
The last time we saw her, she was out here visiting her
grandchildren. We got caught up on what all of our children were doing now and we planned
to see her again on her next trip out here.
I can't believe there will not be another trip.
Part of me feels like I did being stranded in England on 9/11/01. So
frustrated at being separated from the people I love, wanting to go to a safe place and
hold tight so nobody can be hurt again, so I won't lose anyone again.
But that's not how life works. Life is full of love and loss and
friendship and.... I don't know. My brain is in a total jumble right now. I wish my
stomach would stop doing somersaults.
I can't believe Susan is gone.