Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Suzanne Varela Hastings


I just got an email a few minutes ago that a childhood friend of mine, Suzie Varela (Hastings) passed away last night of breast cancer.

Suzie and I were friends in the earliest part of my life. Her father and my father were friends. Don Varela was the pastor of a christain community we used to belong to. Suzie, her sister Charmaine, David and Clint Hunt, my brother Gordie and I used to pal around together all the time.

I remember Suzie as a beatiful ray of light. She was hilarious.

My two strongest memories of her were strange in their opposites. I remember a trip to Nags Head that she took with my family (that's where the pictures came from) and I remember that we were in a car accident together when we were 12. Suzie and I had spent the night at an elderly couple who were friends of my parent's house. We were on our way home from church when a girl was drag racing with her brother. I was knocked out and when I came to, Suzie's head was in my lap (still attached, of course). She had cut it with a coffee can of fresh flowers. Wow, such vivid memories. The four of us were fine. I crushed vertebrae in my back but have been just fine. Everyone else had minor cuts and bruises.

I found out about Suzie's breast cancer just a week or so ago. She was diagnosed with it just weeks after she buried her father from a heart attack. It reminded me that I had not seen or heard of her in over 20 years. She had gotten married young and had kids young and I guess we lost touch.

I'll still always remember that trip to Nags Head, Christian skating and those (I can't believe my parents made me go) Halloween parties.

God bless you, Suzie. God bless the Varela and Hastings families.

8 comments:

Kimberly said...

Oh my, is this Christy Dozier? I was doing a search on google for Suzie to see if an obituary had been posted yet and the first search item was your blog.

You may remember me as Kim Cleaver (I go by Kimberly Wilson now, I have been married for seven years.) My mom is Gilda Cleaver and was good friends with your parents.

I was on my way home from work this morning (I am an RN and work nights) when my mom told me that Suzie had died. I knew about her breast cancer, but was still taken by surprise that she had died. It is very sad and has been hard for me to come to terms with. I am keeping her family in my prayers. My mom also told me that Joyce's mom died this past weekend, so the family is in need of extra prayers at the moment.

I hope you are well and I hope you don't mind my posting on your blog.

Take care,
Kimberly

strawberryfields4ever said...

K- Such sad news to hear. Though I did not really know her well, I do remember her. She was such a beautiful girl. How sad to see a life taken so very young. My heart goes out to her husband and children and family. I will keep them all in my prayers. Thank you for letting everyone know.

Laura said...

I am so sorry that you are expieriencing such a painful loss.
many prayers for you and your family.
Lauar

Lori said...

Isn't it amazing how powerful our early childhood friendship memories are? I will pray for you and this woman's family.

dominirican77 said...

Hello,
You may not remember me. You and Suzie were a bit older than my sister and I. My name Raquel Dolagaray ( actually Raquel Sanchez now). I used to hang around with your sister, Angel.

I too had done a google search to try to find some information on Suzie and the 1st thing I saw was your blog.

I heard about her passing today and my heart broke. I cannot imagine the heartache the family is feeling now with the loss Don, Joyce's mother and Suzie all in such a short time.

I have such fond memories of Suzie. She was so beautiful in everyway. She was an awesome role model for my sister, Jennifer, and I. She was such a good person and made everyone she came in contact with feel special.

It's comforting to see that others have the same wonderful memories of her. It goes to show what an awesome person she was. Although we hadn't had any recent contact, her beauty is forever in our hearts and memories.

El' Gordo the Ugly said...

Kristi,

That was a great memory. Suzie was always such a sweetheart, and I have been just reeling from the news that she has died.

My memories of her mostly have to do with her laughter and smile. She always seemed to so full of both!

Clint and David's father, Clint Sr., also passed away from cancer about the same time as Don, I believe. Joyce, Suzie and Charmaine's mother, received word that her own mother passed away from throat cancer as she landed at the Tampa airport to care for Suzie, and Don's mother's health is failing. There has been so much loss in such a short period of time. Please keep them all in your prayers.

Love,

Gordie

PS: Great blog, sis!

taikwanjo said...

You probably don't remember me. I was a bit younger, but grew up going to NCC and knew some of the people who've responded. I was good friends with Sam Varela, and Suzie and Charmaigne both babysat me. It's so sad to read about the losses in their family. Thank you for blogging about it. I had heard about Don, but just now read this about Suzie. God bless!

Joe Castiglioni

Patrick Larkin said...

Greetings,
I am Susie's half brother Patrick. I came across this blog 9 years later. I wasn't a huge part of her life but loved her very much. It's crazy how broken families can be. She was my older sister by 4 years and 13 days. My father is her biological father and know the impact of her separation from her as a child and in death was devistating. I'm begging for everyone in a separated family or similar situation to forgive, forget, and cherish life because it can be even more regretful if we try to learn to forget. I miss you Suzie...Betty, Dad, Todd, everyone. We are sorry we didnt realize this all along.
Patrick