It is a mark of the depth and breadth of one's life when people know you and love you for entirely different things. So it was with Susie Ambry, a dear friend of 50 eventful years.
Some people knew Susie as a whirling dervish at the many Grateful Dead concerts she attended back in the day, often with longtime love Simon at her tie-dyed side.
Some people knew Susie as the longtime proprietress of the Malt Shoppe -- the rare woman running a business on Main Street in Newark, Delaware -- if they were one of the many employees she mentored or the regulars for whom her shakes, bagels or sprinkles-topped ice cream cones were daily gotta haves.
Some people knew Susie as a pre-school teacher and later an elementary school teacher's aide.
Some people knew Susie as wife and mother to Juri and Kat and maîtresse of their wonderful hilltop home and gardens in the woods.
While I am way too old to have sat behind one of the wee desks in Susie's classrooms, I was fortunate enough to know her in all those other lives and am inestimably wiser and richer for that, insofar that humility can be considered a thing of value, which I do.
Susie was no simple Capricorn. Practical and disciplined yes, but she was able to balance two sometimes diametrically opposite qualities in her own inimitable way -- being deeply spiritual and having a wonderful sense of humor. Her's was a laugh for the ages.
Susie left this mortal coil after a long battle with cancer that she somehow had kept winning. Until the very end.