For Susan

I shouldn’t have been surprised….some people just radiate their goodness onto everyone.

Last night, I had just gotten word through the grapevine that Susan Lynn had died. I trudged off to dinner with friends putting it in the ‘that sucks’ compartment of my brain and planned to really think about it later.

So I sat down with my buddy – whom I know through tennis – and about the third sentence out of her mouth was, “…and then I found out that Susan Lynn died this morning…”.

It was one of those moments where you should think, “Oh wow – she knew Susan, too?” but what comes instead is “Well, of course she knew Susan. Everybody did.”

Susan Lynn was one of those rarities in Raleigh – as she was actually from Raleigh. Went to Ravenscroft. Went to St. Mary’s. Was super active in the community. And then her life came to a numbing halt when she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia last year.

The strange thing is – I’ve never actually met Susan. We crossed into many of the same circles – most notably our time in the Raleigh Jaycees – and shared many common friends. We just never actually met. And yet I feel like I knew her from all the stories of the last several months. But don’t waste your worries on me – I’m fine – my sadness lies with the wishing that I had known Susan. Send your worries to those who did.

I was pulling hard for her – especially when her treatment in Texas started to turn. She’d gone to Texas last year to be part of a research program – hoping that would offer the magic she needed to beat this thing.

Last year, a benefit concert was thrown in her honor here in Raleigh. I went – thinking I’d just drop in. I wasn’t very sure I’d even know anyone there. Instead it was like a reunion – people everywhere screeching out with excitement as they ran into friends they hadn’t seen in years. Myself included.

And the circles it crossed – friends from the Jaycees, friends from tennis, friends from work, friends from former jobs. It was really amazing to see all these people that typically lived in separate areas of my life all gathered together because of one person. If you want to see someones character – look at their friends.

Of course they knew Susan Lynn. Everybody did.

And while that night energized the heck out of us – naive as we were to think that a simple fundraiser would be just the ticket to curing her disease – it didn’t make the leukemia go away. So most of us moved onto other things, while sending a continuous string of positive vibes to Texas.

While I do feel bummed that Susan has passed, I am more saddened by what her family and close friends are going through. To have someone call a halt to treatment to spend their remaining days under Carolina Blue Skies – knowing what this means – must be heart breaking.

My hope is that they realize how many lives Susan did touch – sort of a pay-it-forward thing – as her energy worked its way through Raleigh. She gave us a common goal – to will her to good health. And now she’s given us another – to pray for her family and friends to find strength when they probably thought they were all out.

Susan Lynn – you are missed.

Susan Lunsford Lynn, 43, died peacefully at her parents’ home on February 9, 2011, in Raleigh, NC.

A requiem mass will be held for Susan on Friday, February 11, 2010, at 2 PM at St. George’s Anglican Church, located at 1210 Dixie Trail in Raleigh, NC. The family will receive friends and family immediately following the service in the parish hall.

Susan is survived by her parents, Jean S. and Clabe W. Lynn; her sister, Chloe Lynn; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in memory of Susan to either the North Carolina Chapter of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (401 Harrison Oaks Blvd., Suite 200, Cary, NC 27513) or St. George’s Anglican Church, 1210 Dixie Trail, Raleigh, NC 27607.

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