Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Friend, Susi

In November 2007 we moved into our house. I was ready to make our house a home, ready to meet the neighbors, and hopefully make lasting friendships. Well, a few days after we moved in this cute family across the street came over to welcome us to the neighborhood. I remember Susi was wearing an apron, hair swept up in a clip, and she was very warm and kind. She gave us a pie and I remember thinking “Oh no. This woman makes home-made pies. I can’t compete with that.” (Little did I know, it was a Marie Callender’s frozen pie she had bought at the grocery store and thawed out earlier that day. It helped knowing that. It made her a little more ‘human’ to me.) That night we talked with Gordon and Susi about the neighborhood, their business, etc. We talked with Gordy about his drums and Malissa about her piano playing in the jazz band. I loved the Mabey’s instantly. Over the past 2 1/2 years they have become family. And so, I’m heartbroken that they are moving in 5 days. Yes, I know it’s only 3 miles, but it still hurts knowing we can’t just cross the street anytime we want to get our Mabey-fix.
My kids love Susi like a grandma (I think Emma has even called her ‘grandma‘ a few times.) They love giving Brighton, their miniature schnauzer, lots of hugs and kisses. They watch out our front window to see when they come home (yes, this could be considered stalking) and then when they see a car they yell “Mom, Susi is home.” or “Look, it’s Gordon!” They look forward to Susi offering whatever sugar she has in the house (which isn’t much because she’s a health nut) and jumping on her trampoline when the weather is nice.Susi loves to be in on the action. She seems to have her hand in everything and knows everyone in Davis county. She introduces me to people like I’m her own sister. She listens to my concerns, gives me advice when I need it, and is always there with a hug and a smile. Susi lets me drag her to Body Combat classes (despite struggling with shoulder pains.) She willingly pairs up with me to bring dinners to families in our neighborhood. She helped me put together a neighborhood BBQ 2 years ago. Susi came over when Truman was having problems after his neuter surgery and got him to take his medicine (none of us could do it!) She went to Emma’s dance recitals and brought her flowers, which Emma cherished for weeks, even after the flowers had died. She hemmed my dresses and gave me advice when I attempted making Josh some pjs for Christmas (nope, they still aren’t finished!) Susi helped us replace an electrical outlet, let us borrow every yard tool they own, and helped me calm down when I realized I painted the wrong color of paint when I was touching up the living room walls. She asked me to be a judge at Woods Cross High School’s Battle of the Bands and I was really honored that she would think of me to do that. Susi helped us when our basement flooded, took me to choir practice multiple times, gave the kids huge Christmas stockings filled with food and toys to keep them occupied on our drive to Oregon last year, and made a “Welcome Home” sign and posted it in our front yard when we got home from our 3-week Oregon trip last summer. She enjoys talking politics with us, even knowing we are democrats. ;) She likes being my guinea pig and is always willing to eat one of my new creations (and always tells me it is the ‘best she’s ever had.’) Within a few months of moving in, Susi gave me the code to open her garage. That was a dangerous move on her part. Since then I have popped in to ‘borrow‘ all sorts of things. Jake is embarrassed for me. I remember one time needing 2 eggs. No one was home so I snuck in, took the eggs and left. Even with me replacing them, Jake was still mortified. He asked what would have happened if Susi and Gordon were “busy” and I had just walked in. Well, it would have been a funny story to talk about later. ;)

In March 2008 we had only lived here just over 4 months and I asked Susi to help me deceive Jake, covering up his surprise party. We told Jake that Susi and Gordon were having us over for his birthday. Jake wasn’t all that thrilled to go over there and celebrate with neighbors he didn’t really know, but we went anyway. Susi had made a huge “Happy Birthday” sign and hung it on her stair railing. She had set out appetizers, bottled water, cute plates. She went all out, pretending this really was a little birthday celebration. Jake was fooled. A few minutes later she sent him to the house to get some ice and he discovered his friends there in our kitchen. Jake was shocked and the Mabey’s helped me pull his surprise off. It was awesome!

A few months later I announced to Susi that I was going to change my life and start being healthier. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She constantly asked how my running was going, how my training was, what sort of things I was eating, etc. She complemented me and told me often how great I looked, and helped me gain confidence all along the way. When I ran my first half marathon, Susi was the first person I wanted to talk to about it, so I hobbled over to her house after the race to share the great news. When I asked her to run the NSL 5K with me last year, she didn’t even hesitate to answer. We drove down together and had a great time.

She made my birthday last year so special. She made a big sign that said “HONK. It’s my birthday!” and taped it to the back of my car. I had no clue she had done that and wondered half the day why I was getting honked at. She gave me a beautiful necklace, which I wear at least once a week.

In November last year I got really sick. I went to Instacare on Saturday, the 14th, with a 105 temp and feeling slightly delirious. I was diagnosed with pneumonia. That night Jake had to go to a work conference, then 6 hours later he flew to DC. I was left alone with the kids, thinking how on earth was I going to survive the next few days?!! Then Susi came to my rescue. She brought over a huge delicious turkey dinner which lasted the kids two days so I didn’t have to worry about cooking. She checked in on me multiple times those few days, making sure I was okay, and asking if I needed anything. Over the next few months my cough still lingered. It got to the point where I couldn’t sleep and worried I would pop out a rib or something. Susi pulled out her Essential Oils book (I call it her witch potions) and she made an organic concoction I rubbed on my chest and put in my humidifier. She even massaged my feet with it.
Susi is very spirited, full of life. She has an unwavering testimony and relies completely on the Lord. She is a great mom and takes such good care of her kids. She is a great listener, always willing to lend an ear. She makes me feel like I’m the best cook, mom, wife, and friend. She treats me more than just a friend, though. She treats me like family. She treats my kids and Jake like family. I know I will never get another neighbor like Susi. No one can replace her and I’m just so glad we have had these 2 1/2 years to be 30 feet away from each other.

Susi, I love you. Thanks for being my angel. 3.1 miles really isn’t that far, right?! You better keep that door unlocked (or give me your security code) because you never know when the Schipaanboord’s will pop in. See you soon!


Ashleigh said...

Every time I've been around Susi she has made me feel like family, even though she doesn't know me very well. She is an amazing person! She makes me want to work harder at my friendships. She is the type of friend that everyone wishes they had. It's a good thing she isn't moving too far away.

Melanie said...

Jaime, did Emma have her recital already?

Loree said...

Jamie, what a SWEET POST!!! Susi sounds like an amazing lady! I want her for my friend and neighbor. I hope you will still remain good friends...sounds like you will. it;s hard to say goodbye to those we love.

Sonja said...

Susi, you are THE best! I'm so glad Jamie has had a mom close by to help her out in times of need. We love you and hope you have a great house, neighbors, and Ward where you are going.

Nurse Heidi said...

Everyone needs a Susi! That's awesome!

(I also have to say that the toilet seat post below had me laughing out loud. The comments aren't enabled, so I had to lump it in with this one. Hi-freakin'-larious!)