Updated: Dec 13, 2021
I work with people who have Osteoporosis.
I’ve been working there for 3 years now.
I see mostly women of all walks of life.
There is one lady who I’ll never forget,
This one is for you Susanne.
Susanne is a kid in an old lady’s body.
She was on her third fight with cancer when I met her.
She has no hair and often wears wigs.
She has kyphosis,
which is the curvature of the top part of the spine.
In other words,
she had a hump back,
like that guy from Notre Dame did.
Susanne has the biggest and brightest smile you’ll ever see.
She loves to laugh and play games.
She is loud, brash, opinionated.
I love working with Susanne.
Even though she has cancer
Even though she has a hump back
Even though she had no hair
She was more full of life than anyone I had ever met.
as I was working with her,
she interrupted me mid sentence to tell me I had beautiful hair
and that she would kill to have hair like mine.
This was one of the days where she wasn’t wearing a wig.
The light reflected off her completely bald head.
Somehow, she still looked beautiful.
People with beautiful souls can look beautiful no matter what.
She is one of those people.
I wanted to cut my hair off and give it to her.
When Covid had closed all barbers
I tried to give myself a haircut.
It didn’t go well and I ended up shaving my head.
“Fuck it.” I said,
“I don’t care about my hair. “
Now I was standing in front of a woman I admired
Who had no hair at all
Lost to chemo
And she would kill to have mine.
What a stupid boy I was.
Taking a head of hair for granted.
I changed my perspective in that moment
And I’ve been growing out my hair ever since.
Susanne had changed me.
Susannce wasn’t afraid of Covid 19.
She wanted to die living her own life,
not locked up in her room.
She had courage when most had fears.
She had a huge smile,
when most had frowns.
when others cried.
Susanne loves the game
‘Settlers Of Catan.”
So do I.
And so did my other coworker.
We were all supposed to play together.
I kept blowing her off for younger women I wanted to fuck.
I tried to show her how to play with me online
She could never figure it out.
I blew her off so many times.
I think she started to resent me.
I still loved her though.
She was a shining light in the darkness.
she stopped coming into my work.
I hoped that this wasn’t because I hadn't found the time to play Catan with her.
a part of me felt like it was.
I promised myself that the next time I saw her,
I could plan a time to play with her
And this time,
I’d actually follow through.
I haven’t seen Susanne in 8 months
I had a voicemail from a member who wasn’t going to make it in.
Her daughter had died.
I lost it on the phone with her.
I cried and cried.
I wasn’t exactly sure why.
I barely knew the women
And I didn’t know her daughter at all.
The rest of the day I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of grief.
I had a sense that someone in my life was going to die.
It was the only way to explain what I was feeling.
I called a few friends to make sure they were okay.
I sent my dad a text to see if he was okay.
Everyone was still alive.
her mom called us.
She was dead.
I told my coworker I needed a minute.
I stepped outside and cried for a half an hour.
I will never forget Susanne
I will always remember our missed game of ‘Settlers Of Catan.’
If there is heaven,
Susanne will be up there.
And when I die,
if I somehow make it up there too,
I’d love to sit down with Susanne
And play our missed game of Catan.
And I’d love to tell her that I am so sorry that we never got the chance to play while she was still alive.
Rest In Peace Susanne.
I’ll keep growing out my hair for you,
and one day,
I’ll donate it to someone who lost theirs to cancer.