I love it these days when someone shares a story about Susan, something funny or unique, where we can say “that was just like her”.  You hear about people who experience a death and they can’t bear the pictures, the constant memories, or people bringing up their loved one’s name.  I’m not like that – in fact, I think I’ve been the opposite.  I crave the memories, the interactions with people who knew her well.  We’re going to spend the weekend with some friends in Kinston – one of Susan’s best friends in life was her friend Susan McKnight.  Her husband Jason is a pastor there, and I’m going to speak at their church Sunday.  I’m honored to be able to share at their church, yes.  But I’m also finding myself really looking forward to the time spent with someone who knew my wife so well.  I didn’t anticipate this beforehand – but when I hear from someone about Susan, or we remember something she said or did together, it makes me feel closer to her.

Several times in the past few days Bailey has done something that has given me a flashback of Susan.  More than once I have thought, “She’s just like Susan!”  It has been really cool.  Three things in particular I wanted to share:

I was in Bailey’s room a few minutes ago talking to her some and telling her goodnight.  We were discussing her upcoming 11th birthday party and the schedule of events for the evening.  She got this excited look on her face when we started talking about the schedule, jumped up, grabbed a dry-erase marker and started writing said schedule furiously on her whiteboard.  (Yes, she has a 6X4 whiteboard on her wall, probably her favorite thing in her room)  It made me laugh, and I immediately thought about Susan.  She was a scheduler, for as long as I can remember.  At Carolina, she was crazy about her weekly planner.  Throughout our marriage she kept a detailed calendar.  She loved to schedule things – even vacations (which was something we tended to argue about).  She would get excited writing down the schedule for the day.  I see that same thing in Bailey.

Bailey is playing basketball this year and having a great time.  For her (and I believe she would admit this), sports are more of a “social” thing.  The competition is fine, or whatever, but she likes to be on teams because she likes being with her friends.  She played two games over the weekend, and did great.  Sunday’s game she had 8 points and helped lead her team to their first win of the season.  I told Bailey later that she may not have known this but Susan played basketball in middle school.  Apparently, though, she only scored 2 points – in the entire season.  I wasn’t around then, of course, but knowing Susan, I know that for her, the main things was getting to have fun with her friends.  Who cares if they won or lost.  As I watched Bailey running up and down the court with a big smile on her face the whole time, I couldn’t help but think that I bet this is exactly what Susan looked like when she played.

The other thing Bailey has been doing a lot of lately is reading her Bible.  I have to tell you, when I see her doing this, it makes me so proud.  A few days ago, she got in the front seat of the car as we were heading somewhere, pulled out her Bible, and started reading it.  She keeps a little notebook with it, and she’s been writing down verses.  It almost caused me to drive off of the road.  Because I had this vivid image of Susan, countless times, on a trip, or on the way to the hospital, pulling out her Bible in that same seat and reading.  Susan kept a notebook when she read through the Bible last year, writing down every verse that struck her.

These things hit me this week in an almost eerie kind of way.  I’m so proud of Bailey, and what a great reminder to me that in some ways, Susan is still with us.


4 Responses to “Bailey”

  1. Martha Deaton Says:

    Bailey’s pictures always made me think that Susan must have looked like her when she was that age. I only knew her when she and Hannah were friends in high school, and then when I was her assistant at Montclaire. She was a special lady.

  2. Sheryl Says:

    and Susan is smiling down from heaven as Bailey is playing basketball, scheduling “life”, and most of all… reading from HIS Word! What a blessing!!!

  3. Sandy Says:

    Bailey is living out what she saw Susan doing–spending time with her Lord reading His word. What an example Susan has given her children.

  4. Cousin Laurie Says:

    While cleaning out Rania’s closet the other day I came across two white embroidered bibs Susan made for Rania when she was born. I will always cherish them, and became so emotional tracing each letter of Rania’s name with my finger. I heard many stories through my mother of Susan spending time embroidering gifts for people. Oh, of the tens of thousands of kind gestures she must of have done for those that loved her so much.

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