Saturday, January 16, 2010


Our family moved to Southern California from Marin County (just north of San Francisco) four and a half years ago. In doing so, we left behind some amazing friendships that we made and enjoyed over the ten years we lived in the quaint towns of San Anselmo and Fairfax.

While we lived there we developed a special relationship with four other families and spent lots of time together with them. It was one of those wonderful situations where the women are all friends, the men are all friends, and the children all get along too. Leaving this was the most difficult part of moving. However, as life has progressed for our various families, all but one moved away from the little towns and scattered from Canada and Oregon to Glendale.

This weekend one of those families, the only one remaining in Marin, came down to visit us. We get together pretty regularly, usually three or four times a year, and we always have a great time. Since their arrival late Thursday night I have especially been enjoying my dear friend Tina who I miss dearly.

Imagine my surprise as I arrived home after mass last night to find my good friends Melissa and Andrea waiting for me in my driveway in their pajamas with sleeping bags in tow. Now, Melissa lives in Glendale so it isn't all that unusual for me to see her, although since I wasn't expecting her it was a wonderful surprise. However, Andrea lives in Ashland, Oregon, so I was beyond stunned to see her. In fact, I could not believe my eyes. She had flown down that morning to surprise me and everyone knew about it except me.

I quickly learned that we were having a totally girly sleepover and that all the husbands had valiently stepped up to care for their many children so we could enjoy an evening together, plus lunch the next day. I was in heaven.

Imagine my further surprise when the doorbell rang just before we left for lunch today and it was Anna Lisa and her family, the last of the original five of us. They drove down from Santa Barbara today to get in on the surprise. It had been more than five years since we had all been together, and we got to spend all afternoon together today.

With neighbor Robin in tow (who got along with them all as if she had known them for years), we all went to lunch and spent three wonderful hours together. I cannot remember the last time I was so completely and delightfully surprised. I have really missed my friends!

If it wasn't for the whole "this could end badly" part of having cancer, I would have to say that it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It is bringing my distant friends close and my close friends closer. It is cementing my immediate and extended family. It is bringing out the best in everyone I know, including me.

I would have never expected this. How surprising life can be!


Dawn Farias said...

How fabulous!!

bkuzimthemommy said...

That is so wonderful! Thinking about you daily...please let me know if you need anything!

Bianca said...

it is wonderful to see so many beautiful and smiling faces!! I am so glad that Robin lives nearby and can help out where needed.

Praying for you and the family!
Bianca :-)

Sarah McCormick said...

Dear Suzanne,
Sounds like so much fun. What awesome friends you have. We all love and adore you. You look glorious keep doing what you have been doing. Lots of love and prayers, Sarah McCormick

momgainer said...

Oh, Suzanne -- this is so wonderful and I'm so glad you were able to have come much needed girlfriend time. It truly is the best therapy.

RizMarsella said...


Please call me. I would like to share some impt. info. with you. ASAP.
Riz Marsella

anna lisa said...

Hi Suzanne,

I think I'm starting to like being a refugee in Santa Barbara! The kids are all outside swimming in the El Nino lakes that are forming on the golf course. Imagine seven kids thirteen and under in bathing suits right now! (Wouldn't happen in Marin!!) They come in with teeth chattering and have ruined two loads of clothes, but I can't help but smile and admit I did the same thing when I was a kid!

You look positively radiant in your picture. I felt so happy to be there...I'm so delighted Andrea "siezed the day" (the way our kids do) in organizing your surprise. It was so wonderful to sit down with a group of such happy, soulful people.

The heroes of the day were the men that cared for the 33 kids that we got to trade, for one of the most enjoyable lunches I've ever had!

You and Jay have the biggest hearts to open your house the way you do! I think I'd be playing the "cancer card" if 86 kids showed up at my doorstep to play!!!

God Love you.

Anna Lisa

jen said...

This is SO sweet-you look BEAUTIFUL!