I am forever haunted by January 10th and 11th. It was this date, two years ago, that tragedy ensued. It was tomorrow, January 11th, that I heard what happened.
It was the most angry, scared, sad, and confused I had ever felt in my entire life.
How? Why? How? WHY? God, WHY?
As humans we try so hard to understand these kinds of things, to wrap our heads around the tragedy. But we can't.
No matter how many January 10ths and 11ths pass me in this lifetime, I will never forget 2012. I will never forget how I felt. And I will never forget you.
I see your face in the faces of so many other moms that were just like you. I have met a lot of new moms this year, and in each of them I see a lot of your qualities: compassion. strength. love. pride. truth. I see it in Martha and Paula, in Julie, in Deborah, in Anne, in Carolynn, in Esther. I know you are holding each of us close, helping us hope over each obstacle presented, giving us hope and strength.
Most of all, I see you in my mom. You were such a friend to her, and a person she admired. She adored you. But what she doesn't always realize, is she is a lot like you- loving, kind, passionate. Like you, she always wants to help others. She's a special woman, and you meant a lot to her. I believe she carries your spirit with her.
I miss your kids. They are so beautiful. I know they are being taken care of, I see pictures and it warms my heart to see the smiles on their faces. The girls are so tall, and starting to look like you. Nick is becoming a handsome young man. I miss my mornings with them, back when you were still here. They will grow up to be life changers, no doubt. They are so full of love- love that you gave them- that I have no worries about them. I just miss them.
Today, I wish I could gather up everyone that knew you and we could all spend a few hours together remembering you and the impact you made on our world. Your family, friends, students, coworkers, and me...your babysitter. All of us could hold each other, cry, laugh, pray. I know so many of us will be thinking about you today.
To everyone hurting over this loss, to everyone replaying the memories of today and tomorrow in your head over and over: May you be comforted by the fact that the qualities you loved the most in Susan are qualities that are also in your heart and in your soul. You just gotta let em shine. Susan was a pro at that- she shined so bright, that she shed light on this whole town. Remembering what happened is hard- it gives some of us nightmares or anxiety attacks. But remembering Susan, and her smile, is easy. I have absolutely no doubt that if you are reading this and knew Susan, you were impacted her in some way. She left a piece of herself with everyone she met. Take that piece and hold it close. Snuggle it tight. And then, each day, remember that it is there. Use it. Use it to get yourself through the day or to help someone else.
We miss you, Susan.