Sooz

My cousin Susan died last week. It was sudden and unexpected, and the shock seems as hard to take as the loss.

She was one of my favorite relatives. She was a fabulous cook, a great singer, an awesome storyteller. She was witty, loving, and just about as straightforward as a person could be. She was a wonderful mother to 2 wonderful kids and had the cleanest house of anyone I know.

I have many great memories of Sooz and lots of great stories to remember her by. Here’s one that my dad related at the memorial on Saturday:

Sooz had a lot of little tricks for making things easier. For instance she used to rinse out the dish soap bottle really well and fill it with olive oil for quick dispensing. Well, this one time she was at a friend’s house helping to prepare dinner and the friend had to go do something so she asked Sooz to finish the green beans. Well, without thinking she grabbed the dish soap bottle and drizzled some on the green beens and put them in the oven. When the hostess took the dish out it was foaming. “What’s wrong with these beans?” she asked. Susan thought for a second, and then it hit her, “Oh, you don’t keep the oil in the dish soap bottle!”
“Why would I??”

Or the time she thought it would be fun to try on her husband’s ski boots while he was out of town. But once she got one on, she couldn’t get it off. Everytime she messed with the buttons and straps it cinched tighter. So there she was…wearing one ski boot and pajamas. After struggling with it for a bit she just decided to go to bed, but the boot wouldn’t fit under the covers, so she hung that foot off the side and went to sleep. Luckily her husband returned that night. He burst out laughing at the sight of her, walked over and clicked one little button and the boot popped right off.

My memories of Sooz will always bring a smile to my face. She will be missed.

Uncle Alvin

Ten days ago my uncle Alvin unexpected passed away due to a massive heart attack. It was very sad for my family, especially my grandmother who has had to endure the unfairness of living through the death of her child. The hardest part has been seeing my family in pain. I will surely miss him as will many. So here are some of the things that I will remember about him:

He was a kind, but simple man.
He could fix or build just about anything, if he couldn’t he’d learn.
He wanted nothing to do with anything fancy or material.
He cooked better than most men, just like his dad.
He never knew what to buy me for Christmas; I have at least 7 jewelry boxes from him.
He always had a smirk.
He never cared much what anyone else thought.
He did what he wanted to do.

Love you, uncle.