Susan had the most beautiful russet locks that I had ever seen. They were thick – like entwined ropes – and cascaded over her shoulders to frame her fair face. I didn’t know this the first time I met her; it was a late winter evening after a university lecture, and her hair was shoved up into a knitted cap.

Susan (2)

It was the second time that I met her when I noticed her hair and thought how beautiful it was. Why didn’t I tell her? I promised myself after Katrina that if I were thinking a pleasant thought about someone, I would say it. I should have uttered my sentiment, but I didn’t, and I don’t know why. Why didn’t I say it?

Susan's Hair

When you only meet a person a handful of times in your life, and you think about her anyway, her life enriches yours in some ineffable way. Susan was working on her master’s degree with the goal of becoming a college professor. She would have made a good professor; she was a doer, not just a thinker. When she was Jillian’s dance partner (no guys in the class), she put her everything into their performance. Susan made the doing part of life fun.

Jillian and Susan (2)After a performance of The Vagina Monologues, Norm waved in her direction as we approached Susan and Jillian to congratulate them on a job well done. Susan lit up, just as she always did, and stretched her arms wide to give Norm a hug. On most occasions, Norm reserves his hugs for me and Jillian. But that night, he not only accepted one from Susan; he returned one to her. That says tomes about Susan’s light.

Vagina Monologues ULM 2013 (2)A period goes at the end of a sentence. When a thought continues, you add a comma, a semi-colon, or a dash, but not. A period. If someone will cry, it’s not time to die. As if we have control of that sort of thing – dying and crying. It would be nice to think that we do. We don’t, do we?

But see, the light emitted by her spirit was not extinguished by a period. Her sentence continues in the form of an unspoken thought on the wings of a dove, soaring somewhere in the heavens.

Susan's Star

Her hair was. Beautiful.
She was. Beautiful.
She still is. Beautiful. Susan


Susan Day Hoyt
April 14, 1987 – July 4, 2013