Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Today sucks

Anyone that talks to me long enough to know me at all, will know that breast cancer is a huge deal to me. I’m pink ribbon obsessed. I pretty much all the chat boards I visit consistently have pink ribbon blinkies. If you go to my house I have 2 couches… one is always draped with a fleece pink ribbon blanket and has 2 bears from Build-a-Bear all decked out in pink. A pink ribbon pin lives on the sweater that I wear everyday. I am one of those women who HATED the color pink… until someone important in my life died from breast cancer.

On the first day of 2nd grade I was a new kid. We had just moved to Downey over the summer and I didn’t know anyone at my new school yet. I was a very sad little girl when recess came. I didn’t know anyone and it really seemed like everyone already had their little group of friends, no room for me. Then another little girl walked up to me and asked me if I’d like to join her and her friends. That was the beginning of my friendship with my dear Malia. Malia (aka Mia) lived down the street from me even! How exciting! We grew up together, from Mrs. Francisco’s 2nd grade class, to taking crazy routes home from middle school and to Senior awards and marching band (well, color guard for her). Because of this simple, kind act I have gained some of my closest and dearest friends. We were a very close group as high school came to a close. And like most childhood friendships we have kinda grown apart, but I still see her on a semi-regular basis, and she’s only a MySpace Top 8 click away. ;)

How do these two tie in? Momma Sue. Remember the kindness of a little girl? Those types of qualities don’t always happen in a vacuum. Malia’s mother, Sue, was one of the kindest, most service oriented people I’ve ever met. She was very dedicated to her children (Malia also has a little sister that’s the same age as my younger brother). Whatever activities Malia and Heather wanted to do, Sue and Howie (their dad) threw themselves into. Whether it was PTA, dance shows, softball league boards, band/color guard boosters or Job’s Daughters parent councils, Sue and Howard would get INVOLVED!

Sue was actually dedicated to ALL children. She ran a preschool and baby-sat a lot of kids after school. If you ever drove through Downey in the late 80s/early 90s and saw a brown pick-up with a bunch of kids playing in the back under a camper shell… that was Sue (this of course was before seat belt laws ruined our fun!). Since Malia lived just down the street, I rode in that thing a LOT. I remember one of my proudest moments was being dubbed “one of Sue’s kids.” Sue really was like a 2nd mother to a lot of Malia and Heather’s friends.

Since Malia and I went to all the same schools and events, like my real parents, Momma Sue was present at the key events in my life: 8th grade promotion, Sweepstakes at our main band competition, high school graduation, even my wedding. That last item brings a smile to my face as well as tears. You see, 2002 was a bittersweet year. I got married in January, my brother and Heather graduated in June, and Momma Sue left us in July.

She just got really sick one day. She fought really hard for what seemed like forever and then she was gone. She used to tell us all the time that life wasn’t fair, and we got the ultimate lesson in that when she passed.

I get to go to dinner tonight with everyone. We’re going to Sue’s favorite restaurant. It’ll be fun, I just wish it was for a happier occasion. We miss you Sue, but your memory and all that you taught us, lives on.

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