Okay, so I had hoped my first foray back to the keys would be a happy romp recapping the awesome of 2013, but clearly the Reaper had a different idea.
On Friday night, the bell tolled for my dear, irreverent friend, Suzette. Her congestive heart failure got the best of her, leaving her on life support until her fragile frame succumbed to the force she could no longer fight. She was surrounded by the love of her children and nieces when she stepped off this mortal coil.
I had a chance to visit her in the ICU, but to be honest, I couldn't bear to let my last image of her be the hollow shell of her former self, hooked to wires and tubes. Instead I chose to keep her lively spirit I wrote about here as the lingering image imprinted on my mind and heart.
We would roam around a lot together. I remember one day she and I went to an outdoor craft fair named Yankee Peddler in Ohio with her sister and niece. Her family is wonderful, but they don't swear. Can you even fucking imagine it?!? No swearing. On purpose. WHA??? Who lives like that??!? Aaaaaanywho, after a long afternoon of going against our nature, we said goodbye to her sister's family, closed the car door, and let fire a slew of curses.
We could no longer hold them in. Seriously. It was fucking EXHAUSTING pretending to be Sweet Polly Purebread. Suzette and I laughed our asses off after our onslaught of expletives.
|not-so-sweet polly purebred|
Suzette is the first of my friends to die. It's weird and unsettling. Losing parents, grandparents, elderly aunts and uncles is tough enough, but losing a buddy... it hits hard.
On Saturday, we will gather to swap stories amidst laughter and tears in celebration of the life of our spirited friend. She was well loved by all who met her.
Rereading the comments from my post linked to above, I have to share two from coworkers:
"I've loved Suzette ever since the day, while prepping for a Children's Hospital telethon, she walked right up to me carrying a large metal light box, dropped it at my feet and said, 'I've brought my make-up and I'm ready to work."
"... I loved, loved, loved her sick sense of humor. The one time I was eating a little baggie of nuts from the vending machine, and she made a comment about putting a cashew on my wang (ala Dane Cook).
She had me at cashew."
She was one of a kind.
And to quote myself: She was my sassy sister, my irreverent friend, my constant confidant, my fellow 10 year-old, my cohort in crime and one of the few people who got me. Her friendship filled my life with abundant joy and elan. She will always occupy a permanent place tucked away in my heart.
Her presence will be missed on this spinning blue planet, but I have a feeling the fun has just begun in Heaven.