Sunday, April 24, 2011

Letter to Susan, 16th April 2011

Easter Sunday
24th April 2011

My Susie.

It will soon be two whole years since you left us. I talk to you daily, my darling, looking out on the Acer Tree planted in your memory in our back garden, under which our share of your ashes lie, and both Daddy and I shall be joining Donald and the boys, and Chris and Sarah at the Chelmsford Crematorium on the 28th April to spend some time with you as a family. It is a beautiful, peaceful garden and the commemorative bench we ordered for you last year should be in place. We shall have lunch together at a local restaurant afterwards and drink a toast to you, our beloved Susie.

You have left behind many delightful memories, my sweetheart, one of which I shall recall now for the enjoyment of all who visit your website:

Susie and Christopher ready for bed
You were six. You had been in bed some hours, and your bedroom was in darkness. I was on my knees, tidying up your dolls’ house when, out of the blue, I heard a little voice ask very sweetly,

Is that my house or yours, Mummy?”
Yours, of course, darling,” I replied, somewhat taken aback.
Well, Mummy,” you went on, politely but very positively. “I don’t tell you how to arrange the furniture in your house, so could you please allow me to arrange the furniture in my house as I choose”.
Yes, of course,” I mumbled.
Your admonition hurt, my Susie, but I was pleased to know my little girl could stand up for herself.

A few days later, I noticed the television set in your dolls’ house had been moved from living room to bathroom. I was on the point of transferring it to a more healthy location, dining room possibly, when I remembered your admonition and stopped in my tracks.

Many, many years later, when I was recalling this episode, you confessed, you little monster, to having deliberately placed your TV set in front of the lavatory seat in you dolls’ house just to test me! Do you remember? I hope you gave me due credit for the self restraint I displayed.

I have made a photographic record of your life for ourselves, one for Christopher and Sarah, and a third for Donald and the boys and I am now in the process of filling two scrapbooks with the numerous cards and letters of condolence, emails and Mass cards we received at your death. In due course I shall pass them on to Donald for your boys. It would make you very happy to read the compliments your cousins have paid you. So many of them were present at your funeral and so many have made contributions to the website Sarah designed in your memory and initiated shortly after your death.
I shall never stop missing you, my angel. Watch over us all, please, and pray for us. I am trying, my darling, to get closer to God so that I may also be closer to you.

Till we see you again, my precious daughter, rest in His Perfect Love.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For Susie With Love

Darling Sue – we are coming up to the anniversary of your loss, and while we feel your absence from our lives, your presence is all around.  I will forever associate you with those happy, carefree times we shared at No: 60, while growing up.  You were another sister as well as cousin and friend.  You were also my confidante.  Do you remember the long, long chats we had about the problems we read on the Jackie mag Agony Aunt column, and how seriously we took it?!  Looking back, the stories were almost all made up, but how we loved them, and how we tried to solve all those problems that teenage girls like us were going through!  And the scramble to be the first to read the magazine!  As always, you were the one who gave way.  And that was your way – you never resisted.  I recently heard the theme song from “Beaches” and there is a bit in it which could have been written for you.  It makes me sad.:

“You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.
So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain”

Sometimes I feel guilty that we took advantage of your sweet nature – you always shared the lovely clothes you had and never minded if I chose the outfit you wanted to wear.  But that was you, Susie – sweet, gentle and not a mean streak in you.  We were so close back then and then life got in the way as we grew up and followed the paths in life we chose.  Somehow the closeness faded through geographical distance, but you were there for me when I was diagnosed with BC – the first cousin to ring me, to write to me and talk me through it.  And all the while you were going through an even tougher time yourself.

I miss you.  They say God takes his own early.  How true.  I told your Mum that the mould was broken after you were made.  You were unique and a one-off special.  And will always be special.

My love, always, and till we are reunited once again.