This story is dedicated to all the Suzannes out there:
I have mentioned before the many special friends we had in Eganville. Claire and Jane were 2 of those. Koosh had known Claire and Jane growing up. As it turned out, our first house was a couple of doors down from theirs on Wellington Street. Claire and Jane had 2 daughters, Alison and Suzanne. Alison was about 13 years old when Jess was born, Suzanne a few years younger.
When Jess started going to Eganville Public School, I would drive her to the Child Development Center in the morning and then take her to EPS for the afternoon. Melissa at this time was going to EPS in the morning and would go to Mrs. Schruder's for the afternoon until I got back from school.
After all this running around for a couple of years, both Jess and Melissa were going to school on a full day basis being in grades 1 + 2. In order for me not to have to run back and forth to Pembroke which was a half hour away, I enlisted the help of Suzanne to ride with Jess on the bus to school.
From what I remember, Suzanne would be picked up first and be on the bus when it got to our house. She would be standing at the top of the stairs when the bus door opened and between the two of us we got Jess up the stairs. Melissa would follow, independently of course and I would wave good-bye. Some mornings went smoother than others but I never heard Suzanne complain. I don't recall her being sick either. She was always there.
I was thinking of that the other day and since I had reconnected with Suzanne on Facebook, I asked her if she could tell me what she was thinking during that time and how things really worked out for her. The following is an email I received from her a few days later ~
Wow.. memories of riding the bus with Jess... that seems like a lifetime ago! I can remember in the mornings as you and Jess and Melissa (Melly, at the time - now, all grown up!) were waiting for the bus, that I would be peek ahead to see what kind of morning we might be in for. If Jess was unhappy ("tantruming") I could tell it would be a very long 3 minute ride! There were other mornings when she would climb on to the bus with a smile, and I would get one of her one-of-a-kind kissses and hugs, and she would laugh as we'd play "Are we in the dark?" as I covered our eyes together. Then, on other mornings, she'd be content to quietly sit and look out the window until we got to school and we'd march on in to see Mrs. MacMillan. It was interesting (or annoying and offensive at the time) how kids around us would notice or comment, or whatever about Jess being different... but didn't all of us kids have mornings when we'd be in a great mood, or a lousy mood, or just be quiet and contemplative?
Some of my most vivid memories of riding the bus with Jess were when some afore mentioned child would inevitably try to make fun of Jess. Before I would ever have a chance to make a comment, Melly would defend her big sister, never afraid to tell off even the grade 8 kids!! You go, girl! It sure is nice reminiscing, as your family were all very special to me as well. If you'd like to pick my brain about anything else, feel free to ask. love Suzanne
I am sure I never properly thanked Suzanne for what she did for my girls. Looking back I can see it was so much more than just riding on the bus with Jess. Suzanne has a child of her now and she is a beautiful mom.
I tell this story as a reminder to thank those along the way who express a kind word, stops to give a hug, reads a story or rides the bus with your children. They are all part of the family circle. Thanks, Zannie!
Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!