Goodbye Sue

| by Linda George |

Dear Sue,

I should be cleaning the house right now because with your passing, of course, we will have a house full. But, I’m writing you this letter instead. (Maybe everyone will say about my house what they always said so lovingly about yours, “my, your house feels so homey.”)

Anyway, your last day was a good one and the room felt more like your bedroom than a hospital room. You were surrounded by love and Suzy even redid your nails using theTutti Frutti Tonga polish that you put on in Kauai at Christmas. I was so glad you were finally resting peacefully and breathing calmly.

I’m sorry you had to suffer earlier when all your old childhood fears came back with a vengeance, i.e., fear of the dark, fear of ice, fear of closed doors and fear of not being able to breathe. I felt so helpless and got the feeling that the doctors and nurses did too. We all wanted you to be as comfortable as possible. Seeing you with so many friends and family members your last day, reminded me of the one fear you never expressed… the fear of not being loved. So many people are lonely and feel unwanted. But you, who have given the world nothing but unconditional love, never had to worry about leaving this place unloved.

I can remember the last time we were in Wal-Mart together and I finally checked out and pushed my cart over to where you were sitting waiting. Beside you sat the cutest little three year old who called you grandma, thereby instantly becoming ‘one of yours.’

Sam found your wishes when we got home your last night,

My Kids 2006

no viewing

no ceremony

no flowers

cremation!

no notice in paper

If, at a later date, you would like a small memorial let my families and friends get together and say a few words or a human interest story about me & smile & be happy for my having lived and touched your life in some way.

Miss me but miss me with a smile not too many sad tears. Just keep me & Daddy close to one another.

No need for clergy to send me off.

My kids will do the job better.

Scatter me & Dad along S & L creek in Indiana!”

Sorry about the tears, Sue. I am happy for you and I know the doctor was right when he said you were just wore out. I guess at almost 94, you deserve to be. You know I always told everyone that you were going to beat Aunt Cecil, who lived to be 102.

After I lost my mom at age 8, I was so happy to have you as a substitute. Unbelieveable, that after 37 years, I still wasn’t ready to give you up.  I know you ‘turned over the family matriarch role’ to me a few years past, but I didn’t put any stock in that as long as you were here.  The tears were real because I don’t think I (or anyone) can love us all so unconditionally like you did.  I need more training.  Paul, Sr. who hardly says a word, summed it up best for us at the hospital when he said, “ I wouldn’t have made it without her.” We all felt that way Sue.  You knew all our blemishes, warts and defects and loved us anyway. We will miss you for that.

After Babby passed away you showed us how to love those who aren’t here and always keep them in our hearts. Isaac came to live with us last week just like we’d planned. I was so hoping you could spend the summer with your youngest grandson. I went down to his bedroom a couple days ago and there on his bedstand was a picture of his mom. He truly has a connection with her because from the first day we brought him home from the hospital, you introduced him to his mom and made her real for him.

Well, Sue, I am glad you are finally going to reunite with the ‘love of your life’ who you were married to for sixty years and three of your four children. As you promised each of them,  we held your hand in that  hospital room until you reached out and took their hands the rest of the way.

Rest, my dear friend, and thank you for being such a great mother-in-law.  I miss you everyday. Your daughter-in-law, Linda

The following week when I was tearfully sorting through Sue’s things I found her own letter to us;

Goodbye Sue

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