I received a call mid-week from my brother Jerry in Ontario. Odd I thought, as he seldom calls mid-week but will often text me. Immediately I assumed the worst. Sure enough, he had sad news to share. My favourite, fun loving cousin, Susie had passed away. Shocking! I knew she had been battling colon cancer but she was so optimistic that I thought she was sure to win.
My biggest regret is not calling her as I had intended to over the holidays. I told myself I’d get around to it in the new year, besides Christmas is a busy season and she would have plenty to keep her busy with family and so on. What’s been keeping me up at night is the words that didn’t get said and now I won’t have another chance.
My one consolation is that we made the most of every visit we shared. Whenever I visited home I made sure to connect with Susie. Sometimes it would be years in-between visits but it always felt like no time had passed and we were able to continue where we left off.
Growing up she was a mentor to me, the inspirational older sister I never had. I loved her joy of life, her laughter and her stories. She could make everything sound and feel like an amazing adventure.
I will treasure our last visit together. She came to pick me up in her yellow Mercedes convertible wearing a yellow tunic top that matched her golden hair. We drove to Niagara Falls along the parkway with the mist on our faces. Later we sat on an outdoor patio overlooking Lake Ontario at the Prince of Wales hotel catching up on our lives. Pure heaven. I will always cherish that memory.
Losing Susie prompted me to contact everyone I know who is having challenges in their lives and tell them how much they mean to me and offering support. What about you? Is there any unfinished business in your life? Anyone you need to reach out to? Don’t worry about saying it or doing it perfectly; it’s the intention that counts.