Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Something is starting to make sense now...

First I want to thank everybody for coming here the past few days. The number of hits I have been receiving has been very humbling. I am also grateful for all the expressions of sympathy that has come this way. I sent a letter(snail mail) to Suzanne's parents yesterday to tell them what she meant to me and the rest of the blogging community. If anybody is reading this from the Meridian area and you are close to the Whites, give them another hug for the rest of us.

Now what's making sense to me now is all the emotions I've been going through in the past week. When I first received the news from Chelle, I was numb. I then went to baffled to angry to very sad(I would catch a tear running down my cheek when I was alone) to embarrassed. The embarrassed part was because of all the expressions of sympathy which had come my way. One of Suzanne's close personal friends told me not to be as every one knew how close the two of us were.
I'm also grateful for those who come here and to other blogs to get to know about this wonderful woman and for those who paid her homage on their blogs.

Enough rambling from me. What I want to bring to light is something that happened to my son about 9 years ago. Adam had just turned 14 at the time and was going through a ton of problems, more than most teenagers were going through. We found out in the past year that he is bipolar. We had joined a new church about two years earlier and he made friends with an elderly lady who was suffering from Alzheimer's. She happened to be in her 80's and was a very devout Christian woman before she was afflicted with it.

Adam would help her to their car as her husband, who was a preacher, would make his way out of the church, and as we all know, preachers do not leave church right away after the service. They have to talk to several people, espcially Brother Perry, who we all considered the cheerleader of our church. So while Mrs. Perry was waiting on her husband, Adam would keep her company. She was very grateful for that and she would tell her family. That would be one of the only lucid comments she would make. She couldn't identify most people, but she knew Adam.

Needless to say, Mrs, Perry was in declining health, from the time we first met her. She would be ill and Adam would be praying hard for her. The time came when she couldn't go on no more. Between Christmas, 1999 and New Years, 2000, Mrs. Perry would be hospitalized with kidney failure, she passed away the Wednesday following New Years day. Adam took it real hard and he cried for days afterward. People called our house asking how he was. Adam didn't feel up to going to the funeral despite the fact the family asked him to come and sit with them. I had gone and was singing in the choir for the service. Since it was a packed house, the choir stayed in the choir pews the whole service and were the first ones dismissed. As I was walking out of the sanctuary, this lady from the church handed me a card and told me to give it to Adam. It was a sympathy card in which she wrote that she wanted to be his special friend now and she also put a twenty dollar bill in it.

Fast forward to 2008. Yes I did feel sadness and a great loss as I received the news about Suzanne's passing. To be honest, some of my feelings were a mystery to me until the past couple of days. When I look at my comments and my inbox, I can see most were aware of our friendship and I can see that many want to help take her place. And I now can understand what Adam was going through nine years ago.

As far as people taking Suzanne's place is concerned, she will always be in my heart. We promised each other we would be friends for life. But I have plenty of room for the rest of you.

Next: A dedication to the memory of our fallen friend and to all my other friends.

17 comments:

Pat Jenkins said...

people can be all right sometimes!!!!!....

struke said...

Great story about your son Adam. You should be very proud of that man.

Great post for New Year's Eve. It should serve as a note to us to be nice to others and help each other out when we can.

Michelle Dawn said...

great story about your son. I can relate with you on this. Wishing you a Happy and Safe New Year.

coltfan said...

that was a very touching post cliff.I hope youand your family have a happy new year.

Pigeon said...

The description you give of your grief reminds me of what I went through, when I lost my mother nearly twenty years ago. I started out numb too, and I also spent some time feeling very angry. What happened next for me were waves of sorrow, which would happen unexpectedly. This went on for years, but they decrease in intensity as the passage of time helps with the with the healing process. Give yourself lots and lots of time. It will get better.

Shellmo said...

What a genuine sweet heart your son has - you should be so proud.

You have my continued prayers for the loss of your friend.

Ms Hen said...

(((hugs))) Betty Ann

In Al-Anon I was first surprised by the HUGGING.... but a HUG really does feel good....

so cyber hugs to you...

........and yes, you are probably stuck with more of us now....I added myself yesterday as a following of your Blog. I got link to yours from Syd's...and it like one big tree branching out to so many people.

Syd said...

I think that your son is a great young man. What a nice thing for him to do. I'm sure that you'll always remember Suzanne, hopefully the good thoughts will replace those of sadness.

74WIXYgrad said...

Betty Ann: Welcome! I am looking forward to reading these blogs that have connected with me. I had alcoholic grandparents and I wish my mom could have benefited from Al-Anon.

I wish I could one day go to Mississippi and deliver the hugs and place a blue feather on Suzanne's grave.

Ms Hen said...

Thank you for the warm welcome.....

All the best to you and your love ones in the year 2009.

Suzanne would want you to be HAPPY and want to watch you seize life...

All my most creative friends have that special thing that she had... still has in heaven I like to think..they give such beauty to others in their creativity and sensitivity..

Betty Ann.....of NYC.

74WIXYgrad said...

Oh well, New York has C.C Sabathia. We now have Betty Ann.

74WIXYgrad said...

Thank you Chelle,

I included a blue feather in the card I sent her parents, along with an explanation.

Ms Hen said...

New York Yankees

On December 18, 2008, Sabathia signed a seven-year, $161 million contract with the New York Yankees. It was the largest contract in MLB history given out to a pitcher.


And I 'pitch' my words of rambling for FREE.. lol.

Betty Ann

74WIXYgrad said...

When he pitched for the Tribe, I thouoght C.C. was a good player. Now I think he's a fat clown who can't wear his hat straight.

You know, Suzanne didn't know a thing about baseball. Unless the player was from Mississippi:-)

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Grief is a long, twisting river. There are no shortcuts, and there are surprising turns along the way.
One of the "gifts" (strange term to use, but I can't think of a better word) of your grief is that you now understand what your son went through, and you and he have a bond of sorts that was not there before.

If you haven't yet read The Shack, you might want to read it soon, Cliff. It talks about life in our world, and then life in the next... and how they are really so thinly separated.

We WILL see ALL of our loved ones again (as I know you know)... and there will be no more tears, no more suffering, and it will be wonderful. Personally, I'm really looking forward to going to my "real" home.... One Day. (When God decides he's ready for me to come home.)

Blessings, my friend.

rdl said...

Since I just found out 2 days ago I am still in the shocked and saddened stage.

Leesa said...

Hi Cliff,

I didn't know Suzanne at all, though I really wish I had. I found her blog via La Franaméricaine's blog which had a very profound tribute to Suzanne which immeditately moved me to visit her blog. Since then, I have been reading the numerous tributes and Suzanne's blog as well... It saddens my heart to no end that this beautiful woman the everyone knew and loved (even though for a lot it was mainly through blogs and emails- for those relationships as equally strong as real life friends, I know that) took her own precious life. I have known three friends in my life who have taken their lives, and though we can never fully understand why someone chooses this way out, we grief and mourn and feel guilty, too. I felt very guilty for months over a close friend's suicide until he came to me one night and told me not to feel guilty... I took a real burden from my heart, because I really believed in my heart that I could have prevented him from taking his life. I felt like I should have been there for him. Though I didn't know Suzanne at all, I am most certain after reading her blog that she had so much love for everyone and wouldn't want anyone to feel guilty. I know you know this, but sometimes it's good to hear it from someone else, too..
Every time I go onto someone's blog to read about Suzanne, it brings tears flowing. So much love for her from everyone, she was truly shining light on this earth. Now, she is shining in Heaven, as I do believe strongly she is with the Lord now, and is dancing and singing up there with my beloved mom. I pray for her family and friends for I know how hard it is to lose someone you love.
Take care and thanks so much for all of your wonderful words about Suzanne and for keeping her alive in everyone's hearts...God bless you
Namaste,
Leesa