Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A New Angel In Heaven

Heaven gained a new angel, today.

Let me tell you about Susan.............

About 4 years ago, I was subbing and I got a random assignment for this 2nd grade teacher. I went, did my substitute teacher thing, and then went about my life. About a week later, I was subbing at the school again and stopped by that same 2nd grade class to introduce myself to the teacher and see if everything was ok as I left it. Susan was a new teacher that year and we chatted about the class, if I'd be willing to be called on again, and just general stuff. Throughout the school year, I got called by her a few more times to sub.

In August 2007, Susan called me with a big request. She was expecting twins (after a long struggle to get pregnant!!!) and was hoping I'd sub for her while she was on maternity leave. At the beginning of October, I took over her classroom and taught for three months. I loved and adored that class.... they were "my" kids (and I was sad to give them back, lol). We mainly kept in touch via email for those three months.... and she sent me the link to her blog, so I could keep up on the scoop of the kiddos!!! (Reading her blog led me to read other blogs which eventually led me to starting my own. She inspired me in so many other ways, too.)

After my subbing job was over, I came back a few more times to cover for her, as well as saw her around the school. The next school year, she moved up to 3rd grade with "our" kids. I ended up doing another long-term assignment for another 3rd grade teacher. We were so excited to have one another down the hall and spent too much time chatting while our kids were at Specials or sticking our heads out the door to finish up a conversation.

A couple weeks after that assignment was over, I got offered my full-time job at the station. She (among other teachers) were SO happy and supportive, but also let me know how much they were going to miss me. I stopped in a few times for lunch with them and kept up on Facebook.

A little over a year ago, Susan got a job teaching virtual school. Leaving her with some flexibility, we made plans to go to lunch as often as possible, which ended up being about 4-6 times last school year. Between FB and our blogs, we were fairly caught up and would discuss the fun detail that you sometimes leave out of public forums, lol. She always encouraged me and prayed with me and just plain inspired me. We also had a mutual obsession with Vera Bradley and would splurge after lunch, lol.

The last time I saw her in person was on Mother's Day.......... her family and mine ran into each other at Carrabba's. Summer was already pretty full of plans and trips for her, but we promised to start up lunches again once Fall came around.

Fast-forward to the beginning of September....... I got a FB message from her to several of us called "My Brain Thingy." It was explaining something that was going on with her brain, but honestly, I didn't understand a lot of it. I added her to my mental prayer list. On Monday, she posted that she had her surgery the next day...... I commented that I'd pray for her. Tuesday morning, she put up a couple of FB statuses, indicating that she was still in the waiting room and was bored. A couple times, I sent up a quick prayer.

I didn't hear anything after those initial updates. My day got busy and exciting, and I stupidly just assumed that everything was fine.

This afternoon, a mutual friend/former coworker posted on Facebook the news. Susan passed away.

I still don't have all the details, but............ In surgery, she had a stroke. At first, they thought it would take rehab, but she'd recover. Unfortunately, though, her brain began to swell for reasons they couldn't figure out. Today, they declared that she had no brain activity.


June 6, 1977 - September 22, 2010

Susan left behind a husband....... one that loved her like I've prayed God gives me in a husband. She leaves behind two beautiful children who will turn three, in October....... a mother to them like I've prayed to God that I'll be able to be to my own someday. She leaves behind countless family and friends that miss her, love her, and were inspired by her.

Please pray. Please pray for her husband and those sweet babies. Please pray for her family and friends. I know that God calls us when it's our time. I know He has healed her and she's now in a better place. It's us that are worse off without her in our world.

Susan and I, December 2007, at "our" class' holiday party.


Nancy said...

Oh Jess, this is beautiful. Make sure her family gets this link.

Amy Lynn said...

I am so sorry for the loss of such a great friend. I had goosebumps through this whole thing... I said a prayer for you, and her family. They will be in my thoughts.

Krystal said...

This made me tear up... you just never know what life has in store for you. Sending positive thoughts to her family...

McKenzie said...

I am so sorry. Her and her family will be in my thoughts!

Momma Chef said...

Golly Jess. I added them to our prayer chain at church the minute I got off the phone with you last night and called Mike and the Pastor so they could pray right away. This was beautiful. You made me cry. I will be praying. Gods arms are for sure around her family as she is at his feet singing praise!

Brittany Ann said...

Oh my gosh, I am bawling. This is such a loss for so many people. Her babies. Her husband. Her family. Education at large. I am so, so sorry, hun.

Praying for everyone involved.

Lil' Woman said...

I'm so so sorry Jess....she sounded like a wonderful woman and huge loss to so many lives!

Sending many prayers!

Jess said...

Hi there :) can you email me at I have a quick question for you regarding the summer flop swap you hosted a few months ago :)

Jess (

Kristen said...

Prayers for everyone. What an outstanding friend, teacher, mother and wife!

Anonymous said...

Praying for your healing and immense healing for her family.
So sorry for your loss.