Yesterday morning, I put on a pair of earrings, thinking nothing more than I need dangly today since my hair's pulled back. From time to time during the day, I fiddled with them, feeling the facets of the little glass drops, swinging them on their silver hooks.
Late in the afternoon, I heard that Susan had died. And all of a sudden, it came to me. I'd bought the earrings on Etsy, from a woman that Susan had blogged about, another mother with cancer. Susan was trying to help her, because that's who Susan was.
The first time I met her was at the BlogHer conference in 2008. She made me cry. My mother was in hospice care then, dying slowly of lung cancer, and Susan found exactly the right thing to say. Because that's who Susan was.
Susan gave advice freely and without sentimentality - like in this post about hair loss and hats, which inspired me to buy a Buff wrap for my mother. She educated countless people about inflammatory breast cancer, the kind that can present without a lump. She was a rocket scientist, with a PhD in Physics. And she mothered her two little boys, and loved her husband, and lived her life with joy, because that's who Susan was.
The world is a smaller place without her.
If you'd like to honor Susan's memory, consider making a donation to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Or do what her husband suggested: "Please choose to make a difference somewhere, anywhere, to anyone." Because that's what Susan did.