Susan Marie was born during an incredible event in San Antonio on Dec. 31, 1984. It was the "Great Snowfall of South Texas". Throughout the region Texans woke up to the most beautiful of sights; everywhere one looked they saw beauty. Especially those of us at the Methodist Hospital who saw Susie and the other children in the maternity ward. All wrapped up in little pink and blue blankets with little matching caps laying comfortably in clear plastic beds. Some babies slept while others exercised their voices! The children kept warm behind a glass partition as nurses fussed and primped each for their special visitors. Yes, it was a magical time. A time when miracles were born. Outside the hospital children who had never seen snow were making snowmen, tossing snowballs and tasting the melting snowflakes upon their tongues.
This majestic gift from God greeted Susan. The earth, or at least our wonderful portion of it, was pure for a time. Photographers grabbed their cameras and raced from one landmark to the next to capture the moment. Cars driven by those who have a hard time in the rain ended up with permanent reminders of that time as they slipped and slid their way around town.
Over the years Susie never lost that special quality of being unique like a snowflake. She was one of a kind. She didn't fit anyone's precast mold yet she didn't try and stick out from the crowd. Like a rose, her self-given nickname, you had to take notice of Susie to appreciate her qualities. Roses can be appreciated in so many ways and Susie had so many ways to give her love to others.
The most telling quality of Susie's life as a daughter was her unwavering commitment to unconditionally loving her family. Of course this spilled over into her friendships as well. How could it not? And it continued to be a trait she would exhibit to total strangers. Like the story her husband Andrew told us about at Susie's funeral Mass, she had given a pizza to a homeless man on the corner when others passed on by. And how she never passed a beggar without giving them something. She would say, "Hey, it's only a dollar."
So it came to pass that Susan would want to share that love. She wanted others to love as she did. But it wasn't born out of a sense of self but rather it just came from her heart. Susan would stand outside the abortion clinic known as Planned Parenthood in Brazos County, Texas and counsel women and men who were experiencing a crisis pregnancy. She was at times ridiculed but she was unwavering in her desire to help the parents and especially help the small unborn child, who like all children, is a gift from God. And so our daughter who would die from cancer and never experience the thrill of motherhood saved six babies from abortion. We are so proud of her.
We prayed for a miracle to spare Susan from the cancer that was spreading with a speed that each day brought her more suffering, more pain. The miracle had come already that snowy time in 1984 when Susan was born. Susan knew it. She knew life was precious. Susan was a miracle.
From when you were a baby...
...to a beautiful young woman...
...you will always be our princess