On July 10, 2015 at 11:06 am, I lost my favorite Aunt. We were so very close.
I was named after her and she was my Mom's youngest sister.
Aunt Susan was always a larger than life figure to me. She was a cross
between an Audrey Hepburn and Auntie Mame. So very, very pretty and
always so stylish. She was a model in New York City in her early twenties
and she learned to always stay slim throughout her life because of her
training. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be exactly like her when I
grew up ~ just as elegant and just as beautiful.
One of the reasons Aunt Susan and I were so close is that when she
decided to leave New York City, my Mom and Daddy invited her to
come to Chicago and stay with them while she looked for a job
and a place to live there. My Mom was pregnant with me at the time.
Aunt Susan was living with us when I was born, and stayed there to help
my Mom. She would dress me up and play with me and take me for
strolls in my pram. She was "Big Susie" and I was "Little Susie".
Those names stuck and even after I went to college, everyone
in the family called me "Little Susie".
Aunt Susan was very artistic and got a job working as a designer at
the Chicago Merchandise Mart. Although she had moved out and
found her own apartment, she came by every weekend to see us.
We were a tight knit little group. My parents, me and my Aunt Susan.
She started dating a fellow who owned a high end dress shop on
Michigan Avenue. His name was Bill. Bill was quite a bit older
than Aunt Susan and although my parents loved him and my Mom
thought he was a really good "catch", Aunt Susan was just
not smitten. She broke up with Bill, but everyone loved him
and they all remained good friends. He asked me to call him
"Uncle Bill" and I loved him too. When Mom and Aunt Susan
and I would go shopping on Michigan Avenue and I was a bit
older, we would always stop by Uncle Bill's shop to say hi.
I did that until the day Uncle Bill died.
Aunt Susan did finally meet a fellow who caught her eye and
it happened in such a memorable way. Aunt Susan was on
her way to work and she had borrowed a friend's car to
drive to the Mart. She had her arms full of drapery samples
and somehow she dropped the car keys down between the
door and the window and was struggling to get them out when
a man named Joe happened to be driving down the street and
offered to help. Well, it must have been destiny because they
started dating and then married.
Like Bill, Uncle Joe was a bit older than Aunt Susan, but
this time she had lost her heart to the man who rescued her
on the street that day. Uncle Joe was a wonderful man who
was a very intelligent and extremely successful businessman.
He showered my Aunt with luxury and he did that for me too.
Uncle Joe used to pat my Aunt Susan on the head and say
Here is some money. Have fun, but be a good girl. And
then he would go off to work.
Well, Aunt Susan would shop and buy clothes for herself
and my Mom and me and for her new baby boy, Bennett.
But Uncle Joe gave her so much money every week that
she couldn't spend it all, so she didn't say anything to him
about it, but she started investing the money he gave her.
And you know what? She was really good at it!
She started playing the stock market. She earned enough
money to buy an apartment building on Chicago's very
pricey Gold Coast. She was a dynamo and was becoming
a business mogul on her own. But it didn't end there. She
fought for what she believed in too. She went to board
meetings. She fought for the rights of minorities. She
She was my beloved Aunt Susan. I will miss our
hours long phone conversations. I will miss her voice
as she would call out to me Hi Susie! She was the very
best Aunt anyone could ever ask for and I just can't
imagine my life without her now.
Rest in peace Aunt Susan. Until we meet each other once
again, know that your "Little Susie" loved you very much.
Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley