Monday, September 1, 2014

Sweet times

Even though I have tried so hard to squash feelings and memories of Sue, it never really seems to work. Instead of fighting it, I give in.

Here are a few examples of sweet memories, and times, with Sue:

* Working on twin American Bases, I usually found someone on Base to cut my hair. I was in need, however, of a new cut, so Sue recommended I go to her hairdresser. She quickly made the appointment and I went. During the course of the cut, her hairdresser asked how I wanted my fringe cut. I looked at my shirt  and, very confused, told her that I did not have any fringe on me. She said, "Oh, I forget you Americans don't call it "fringe", you call it "bangs". When I told Sue about it, she laughed and laughed. It became one of her favorite things to tease me about.

* Sue knew how much I loved the music of the Carpenters. She had someone she knew make me a taped collection of all their music and gave it to me for Christmas. To this day, I cannot hear a Carpenters' song but what I do not think about Sue. Sometimes, that is hard. Most times, it is good.

* I usually flew back home to the states for the Christmas holidays. Sue agreed to pick me up at Heathrow Airport when the holidays were through. On the flight from Utah back to England, I got sick and by the time the airplane landed, I felt like someone had run over me with a bulldozer. I had the flu, croup, double ear infection, and I lost my voice. I missed the next week of school because of illness. Sue took care of me and nurtured me back to health. Each evening, she came to my home with a wonderful home-cooked meal. She made certain that I was warm and comfortable. I will always remember how she nursed me back to health. I can never repay the kindness and care she gave me that week when I was so sick. I am forever grateful.

* I coached the Boys' Junior Varsity basketball team at the High School my last year in England. At each home game, I would look up into the stands and see Sue there, with her son, supporting the team and me. Having her at the games made me want to do my very best and pull the best out of the boys as they played. (It must have worked because we won each home game that season.)

* I often offered my hand to Sue as she worked in her catering business. It was hard work catering weddings and I do not know how she did so much of it on her own. Afterwards, she always offered me monetary recompense for helping but I refused- I was there to support her. As a way of thanking me, she bought tickets for us to take the train into London, into the highly touted theatre district and see a production. It was amazing. As we sat waiting for it to begin, Sue put her arm through mine, leaned in close to me and whispered in my ear telling me how glad she was to be there with me. It made my heart skip a beat.

On our train ride home, Sue shared some personal things with me that were weighing heavily on her. I could see the sadness in her eyes and I felt such compassion for her. She soon fell asleep, the effects of having been up since early morning finally catching up to her. I sat and watched her- she was so quiet, even serene. My heart went out to her. That moment was the moment when I found myself beginning to fall in love with her.