I sat on my couch last night brainlessly scrolling through Facebook until I came upon a post from an old friend that jolted my brain back to the reality of life. The post was written by her husband, Leon, giving everyone who hadn’t heard an update on Susan. Susan went from feeling tired for a few days earlier this month to being diagnosed with liver cancer a week later. After spending 3 days in the hospital, she is now home on hospice to spend her final days with Leon and her beloved dog in the place where she loves the most.
After reading this news, I sat in disbelief, crying, as his words sunk into my heart. I reached out to Leon, left him a message and cried some more. I’ve broken down in tears multiple time in the last 12 hours as I think about these dear family friends and the hard and painful road they are now walking down. I want the Holy Spirit to give them that peace that only He can give. I want them to feel His presence in such a personal way that there is no doubt He is walking through this valley with both of them. I write these words this morning through tears.
I’ve known Susan and Leon since I was about 8 or 10 years old. I remember the first time they came to our house and being introduced to them. My dad and Leon worked together for years; Susan and Leon would often stay with us whenever they were in town visiting. They were several years younger than my parents. My mom and Susan became great friends. My dad and Leon were like their own little comedy show…they fed off of one another and always kept my mom and Susan laughing or just shaking their heads. Occasionally, after my mom’s death, Susan would share stories with me about my mom. I would love getting to hear about conversations she had with my mom.
When my dad had his life changing stroke in May 2012 that left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair, Leon and Susan would visit my dad on a regular basis and, sometimes, take him out to lunch… just to give him a break from staring at the walls of his caretaker’s home. They were the only local friends he had. My dad would often call each of us at random crazy times, not realizing that not everyone is wide awake at 2:00am. Susan and Leon made time to talk to him. Prior to my dad’s death, I would come home to Arizona for a visit and Leon and Susan would often meet me for lunch. We share a bond. My parents.
I guess this is why the news of Susan’s health has hit me so hard. Susan and Leon are like the aunt and uncle I never had.
Dear Lord, I lift Susan and Leon up to you today. Thank you for the way they loved my parents. Thank you for all the ways they’ve loved me.