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.