Saturday, September 30, 2006

Susan Strother Clarke

My heart is broken today.

I just learned last night that my old friend Susan Strother Clarke has died.

Susan and I went through the Master of Liberal Studies program at Rollins College together. We sat at the back of the classroom, passing notes and whispering like, well, schoolgirls, and we were both well over thirty at the time. We soon discovered that we shared a certain perverse sense of humor, the Episcopal church, journalism and other things... I repaired her computer on a number of occasions, in her little house near downtown Orlando.

She had this funky old Volvo sedan with a broken passenger seat that induced lumbar spasms in the best of us. I remember racing more than one person for the back seat if Susan was driving.

Susan found the love of her life, and married Ken in 2000, after we'd moved to Washington. I got e-mails describing their romance (in good taste, of course) and it was fun to see this side of Susan grow.

Susan was open to whatever life brought her, and she lived more intensely in her few years than many folks lived in twice the time.

I miss her.


Leslie Gibson said...

Ellen, I just read your eulogy for Susan and it was the first I had heard of her passing away. Whether she was ill or injured, she was too young to go, presuming that long life is a good thing. It is a tough reality check when reminded of our mortality by losing a friend who is so young. She seemed to have it all: good husband, good job, and presumably, good health. I read her columns regularly with admiration. Unlike you, I hadn't formed a close attachment and wasn't in touch, but I always admired her. I can transport my mind back to our MLS classes so easily and picture you and Susan giggling away at the notes you were passing back and forth. I was happy to learn that she married, if only from her byline, and I always wished her well. Now I wish I had made a point of knowing her more as I have missed out on connections with a lovely person. It makes me resolve to strengthen my ties with special people as it is easy to lose touch. Thanks, Ellen, for letting me know. I'll be writing to you more often now. Leslie

pooks said...

I'm so sorry.

May light perpetual shine upon her.