Monday, August 5, 2013



Susan is much more than a sister-in-law to me.  She's my oldest brother, Leo's wife.  I've known her since I was twelve years old, when she came to the house with a bouquet of prairie flowers for our mother on Mother's Day.

I call her my third sister.

She worked side by side with Leo, building their house, making their home.  I saw her become a mother herself, at the airport taking her adopted son into her arms for the first time, and she radiated joy and love.

These past sixteen days have tested her enormous strength.  My brother was in a bicycle accident and flown to the hospital in Topeka in critical condition.  Susan dropped everything to rush to his side, not even knowing if he was alive, she told me later. She stayed at the hospital with him almost constantly, caring for him as much as any nurse, or perhaps more.

Leo hasn't even been out of the hospital a whole week yet, and he still has a long road of recovery ahead.  But today is Susan's birthday.  This isn't how they meant to spend it.  They were supposed to  be on vacation with the two kids this week.  But Leo is safe.  He's not well, but he'll get well.  And then maybe a song will be back in our hearts.

Happy Birthday, Susan!

I wanted this bird paper (K&Company's SW Nature stack) for Susan's card, but I hated to cut him up, so I made it into a fold-out card.

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