I didn't mean to make anyone panic with yesterday's post. I was in shock.
My friend who died was from my hometown. If I dug out the genealogy, I'm betting I could connect her family to mine. I know she's connected to my husband's family through marriage. But I digress.
When I was 18 and started college, I didn't move to school. I lived 5 short miles away from school to start with. (There's a reason I didn't go anywhere, but that's another story.) So I was a commuter student.
Being a commuter student meant I didn't have to cut ties with the things I was doing in my hometown. I was a Girl Scout leader. I still belonged to my community theater group. And thanks to my boyfriend, I started singing in his mother's church choir.
And that's how I "met" Suzette.
She was 5 years younger than me and could be such a brat. But she had a beautiful soprano voice and I learned a lot singing beside her. A quartet of us younger folks started a folk choir. Suzette was always smiling and laughing. And as she grew up, I'd listen to the boy problems and we always got along great.
If it wasn't for her, I never would have sung in the Messiah, an experience that I still treasure.
I saw her compete for the title of Miss New Hampshire when she was still quite young and she sang a melody of songs that she orchestrated herself. And we brought her into our theater group. She was at our wedding. But I never saw her much after that. Though we'd exchange Christmas cards and through the grapevine, I usually knew what she was doing.
Thanks to facebook we'd reconnected. And I enjoyed our exchanges so much.
In April, she got pneumonia. Was hospitalized. In the ICU. Bad enough to have her parents come. She was recovering. Her mother went home. One Sunday she was back to posting on facebook and had gone outside to the hospital garden with a friend. The picture of her on Sunday shows her smiling and laughing like always. On Monday she quietly passed away.
I'm heartbroken for her family.