Oh all four blog readers... what can I say about Susan that won't sound trite and just totally miss the mark on what a good friend she is?
Susan and I went to college together and really started becoming friends on a trip to NCTC (North Carolina Theatre Competition) her senior year, my junior year. NCTC is the pre-screening audition for the regional South Eastern Theatre Competition (you guessed it, SETC), which is a big summer theatre audition for college students and recent graduates. As a good theatre major I went. But Susan was pre-med, and just thought "Hey, why not?" So we went together.
In hind sight, the Good Lord intervened and gave Susan almost instant laryngitis when she went up to audition--to this day I have never seen a sudden attack of voice-loss like this moment. But perhaps it was God's way of saying "Uh, Suz--you're a good actress and all, but I really think you should be a pediatric oncologist..."
(And probably my parents are really sad that this message didn't get mixed up and accidentally delivered to me!)
If you're unaware of doctoral terms, a Pediatric Oncologist deals with children who have cancer.
I know, let's think about that one more time: children who have cancer.
Sometimes when Susan tells me about cases work or children she sees, I get overwhelmed even hearing about it. To immerse oneself in the world of terminal illness of children who have yet to really live... I'm not totally sure how she does it. Except that she does. And she does it exceptionally well. She can be compassionate, sympathetic, at time empathetic and clear headed. She was born to do this.
Really the only bad thing about Susan is that she doesn't live anywhere near me, and probably never will. I think she needs to move to New York City. I mean, it's the greatest city in the world, and they certainly need doctors here, so that means she is needed here. And then she could be around me more often. But she does come to visit, and when she does, it's like having the greatest house guest of all time. One who knows how to find her way to and from the airport on the bus, who keeps a Metrocard in her wallet just for upcoming trips, and has her own subway map. Maybe NYC is her second home, and her second bed is my couch?
That's fine with me.
And did I mention she's funny? Funny, smart, a world traveler. Life is Susan's oyster, except that the Oyster is GIANORMOUS and she is going to explore every single nook and cranny. Susan is also a very devout Christian; but never condescending, never dogmatic, and always loving. You should want to be Susan's friend.
Susan also took up running recently! Maybe I'll add her to the list of Jessica W. and I can talk them into coming to a half marathon this spring... :) You always have a place to stay!
I am very thankful to Susan. And the world is thankful for your compassion, intelligence and caring. And I hope everyone reading this blog never needs to see you as a doctor, for themselves or any of their loved ones. But if they do, they know who to call.