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.