Loss. Working in the healthcare industry, I deal with a lot of it. Whether it be loss of independence, loss of a limb, or loss of a loved one. I have dealt with loss outside of the workplace as well, but fortunately not to the degree some have. One of my greatest fears is losing my parents. Which is why this sussy nomination for Ashley G. from squad member Ashley S. really struck a nerve. After reading the nomination, I knew that this was a girl that needed a smile. Read on.
Hi Sussy Team,
Last night, I was supposed to have dinner with one of my close friends from college, Ashley Griffith. We shared many late nights together in the library- mainly talking about boys, family and the future. She was loud and charismatic, just like me. Neither of us knew a stranger. And [our professor] referred to us as “The Party Table” on Day 1 of our Media Ethics class.
Unfortunately, “life happens” and I haven’t seen Ashley in months. She recently found out that her older sister has colon cancer. To make the situation worse, her sister’s husband is battling stage 4 prostate cancer at the same time. Her brother-in-law is spending most days getting hormones just to make him feel comfortable and her sister is getting radiation every day and 24/7 chemo out of a pump.
I wanted to drive to her house and spend the night with Ashley again- like old times. To hug her and to make her laugh all night long. I can’t imagine seeing my sister and her husband go through so much pain.
Around 4:30 pm yesterday, she text me and, “I can’t go to dinner anymore because we are having a family dinner- ahhh! I didn’t know my mom was coming into town.”
Family first- that’s my motto, especially with everything her family has going on.
“No worries at all- definitely next time!” I said back.
We didn’t talk the rest of the night and once I got to work this morning, I got this text from her, “Sorry about yesterday. Little did I know I was coming to be told my dad passed away.”
I dropped my phone.
I was shocked.
My heart sank.
My eyes filled with tears.
Last I knew, her dad was super healthy. I would always see him working out at the gym- kicking my butt! He had lost a lot of weight and was in great shape.
Ashley is his only family member around, so the next few days will be absolutely crazy. I would like to nominate Ashley to receive a sussy from your amazing squad. She has been through so much lately and I can’t imagine the pain and stress she is feeling at this very moment. I’m sure she would overjoyed by the love and kindness of strangers during this difficult time.
I reached out to Ashley G. and received her response just hours later.
Thank you so much for your kind email. I can truly say it made me smile.
I believe people go through times of struggle so that they can realize how strong they truly are on their own.
At 24, I never dreamed I’d lose my father. As with most cases, when you lose a parent or someone close to you it makes you realize just how important they were in your life. I’ve gone to the phone countless times to try and call my father over the past month. I think about how he won’t meet my future husband, his grandchildren, or walk me down the aisle.
He will be with me though just not physically. Ann Landers put it best “It’s not what you do for your children that matters, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings”
I could dwell on all of the bad that is going on in my life, but instead, I am trying to turn it into empowerment. All that I have accomplished in the last few weeks has surprised not only others but myself. I am way stronger than I ever thought possible.
I get up everyday, and I make sure I go to work & preform my regular routine. Ok, the gym hasn’t seen me lately, but besides that it’s pretty normal. Of course, there are days I just seem to go through the motions & cry. Although, that is ok!!
I no longer take life for granted. From every experience something good can be learned. I learned to appreciate life.
Thank you so much for your Sussy. It means a lot. Lately, I’ve been overcome with emotion over how many people have shown me that they genuinely care… This is one of those times. Thank you!
Hope this helps for your blog post
Here is a girl that is dealing with loss in the worst possible way. And to receive this email, to feel her graciousness and clarity come through her words, allowing us to be a part of her life if only for a mere moment. Well, it shows just how strong and beautiful she truly is. Turning loss into empowerment. Making the best out of an unfortunate situation. That is beauty.
Though I’m pretty sure she originally thought my email was the sussy (which is awesome too!), Ashley S. and I decided that a little personalized flair would make Ashley G. smile even bigger. So an AmEx gift card wrapped up in a Ball State koozie (her alma mater) was sent her way. After confirming it’s receipt, she responded with yet another great email.
Yes!!! I did. It was so amazing. Love the koozie.
I apologize for not sending you a thank you! I did tell Ashley how happy it made me to receive.
It was so thoughtful of all of you to do. Let me know if there is ever anything you need from me. It’s great to know that even complete strangers care.
It’s the absolute truth. Complete strangers. Caring. Sussying. Making a difference. Amazing.
& Ashley, here’s a quote for you, darling:
“Love between strangers takes only a few seconds and can last a whole life.” ~ Simon Van Booy, Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories
We hope these stories not only inspire you to sussy someone yourself, but also to nominate someone for us to Sussy. Please email us at email@example.com