Friday, June 3, 2011

A letter to Sue

Dear Suzee,

Part of me keeps hoping that if I don't write this blog post, it never happened. You didn't die. You should still be working and playing and breathing in Manhattan.

But you're not. I flew back to our hometown in New Hampshire, to see you one last time, to kiss you on the forehead before the casket was closed.

How can this be? How can your beautiful life be over so soon?

You lived with gusto, with guts, with joy. You sang, you laughed, you cooked, you loved. You faced heartache and you came out a better person for it. You did not hide. You embraced your life and welcomed so many into your circle.

I was your smug older cousin, but I came to understand that I could learn a lot from you. I admired your ability to let your hurts go, and to live in the now. At the wake, your mom said that I was the one who taught you how to read. I don't remember that, but I know that you taught me to sing - to lift my voice, loud and proud. You helped me to see that I could be my free-spirit, uninhibited self. Why would I waste my time trying to be anybody else?

The morning of your funeral, I went for a walk in the woods that we roamed as kids. I took my camera, and found some comfort in noticing the beauty of the flowers on the path. Bluets were everywhere. Small, humble flowers, ones that we must have noticed every May, as the days grew warmer and the peepers began to sing in the blueberry pond.

Bluet clump

As I finished my walk, I noticed - or felt? - a particular clump of bluets in the middle of the path. I kept walking, but something told me that I had to go back. It was somehow important that I photograph them. I put my camera down and pushed the shutter a couple of times.

Bluet with five petals (first photo)

As I reviewed the second photo, still crouching on the path, I finally saw what I was supposed to see: one bluet had five petals instead of four. Totally unexpected - I'd never seen that before.

Bluet with five petals

I thought it looked like a star. And I smiled, thinking that you are a new star, too.

Thank you for being a part of my life.
I love you!
-- Judy


Ann said...

Beautiful pictures and note :)

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Sue at all, but started reading her fantastic blog after reading her obit in our NH newspaper. I feel like I missed out on meeting a wonderful person. My condolences to her family and friends.
I think the flowers were a message to you and you captured them beautifully.


Donna said...

Like you, Judy, I keep wishing that this was some bad dream I had. I don't see how it's possible that Sue is gone.

I'm glad you took that walk and listened to your instincts. A star - that's certainly Suzette.

Cotton Picker said...

What a beautiful tribute.

NM_Creatrix said...

I recently lost a very dear friend, so I can relate. This was a beautiful post, and you have honored her very well.

Cyndi said...

Judy, thanks for sharing that. I never knew those flowers were called bluets, I just know that every time I see them I am transported back to Newmarket. How appropriate that your tribute to Sue included them!