Saturday, July 23, 2005

I am very, very sad.

My very close friend Sue died yesterday. We were boyfriend and girlfriend like you and Bella. We didn't end up getting married. I got married to Mommy and Sue married a great guy named Larry, who loved her and cared for her better than anyone could.

How do you like my goofy hat. I think I look a little scary in this picture with Sue. I never took a lot of pictures before you were born. Mom was into cameras growing up, but I never really had one. I feel bad that I don't have a lot of pictures of Sue that I can give to her daughter. I am afraid her daughter is going to grow up not knowing Sue.

Tomorrow is the funeral. I am going up with a few friends and I will see some friends there that I haven't seen in years and years. I am pretty sure I am going to cry a lot so I better bring tissues.

It is going to be a hard day for Larry. I hope that he spends tomorrow evening like I spent the night of your funeral. Surrounded by friends, laughing and drinking and falling asleep on the floor on a bean bag chair.

Sue and Larry's little girl is named Julia. She is younger than Joe. When Julia was about to be born, Sue asked me whether it made sense to keep the umbilical cord blood just in case anything bad happened to Julia. Sue was about to have another baby when they found out Sue was sick. The other baby couldn't be born alive so Sue could have medicine to make her better.

When Sue got sick a couple of months ago, I think I wrote to you about that and told you I was scared for her. We talked a lot the past few months and weeks (I think she was pretty bored just sitting around taking her medicine), but I am really bummed that I didn't get to see her. I should have tried a little harder.

I am glad that we did have long and really nice phone conversations. We talked about all of the hard things -- about how her baby had to die so Sue could get treatment for what was making her sick and about death. I sent Sue a radio to listen to when she was getting her medicine and I sent her a lot of hats from XM and I will wear a JewRock kippah to the funeral.

I am especially glad that when we talked on the phone I told Sue that I loved her. She was the nicest person I -- and anyone who met her -- will ever know.

Here is what Sue's husband wrote to everyone last night.


Fight On Update #40

The suffering ended this morning, July 22nd, at exactly 10 am.

The following will run in the local newspapers:

Susan Goldstein Sands died at age 40 on July 22nd after a heroic, ten month struggle with cancer. Susie is survived by her dedicated husband Larry, and their two and a half year old daughter, Julia. Loving and devoted daughter of Lawrence and Inge Goldstein of Pittsford, granddaughter of Irma and the late Erich Meir and the deceased Samuel and Betty Goldstein, sister of Seth Goldstein (Susan) and Leslie Goldstein Roos (Barry), and aunt to Allyson, Chloe, Erica and Elise. Sue will be remembered by countless friends and acquaintances for her kindness, dedication, and gentle nature which she carried throughout her life in everything that she did. She was a graduate of Brighton High School and SUNY Binghamton. We mourn our loss but celebrate a life unjustly cut short. Memorial service will held at B’rith Kodesh at 2 pm on Sunday, July 24th in Brighton, and is being arranged by Parsky’s Funeral Home of Rochester. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been established in her honor at Camp Seneca Lake. Donations may be sent to Susie Goldstein Sands Fund, c/o Friends of Camp Seneca Lake/ CSL, JCC of Rochester, 1200 Edgewood Ave., Rochester, NY, 14618 Attn: Bobby White. The family will be mourning with friends between 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm beginning Monday, July 25 through Sunday, July 31st.

If you are reading this, then you are part of the Fight On Susie Army, a collection of caring souls around the globe that both individually and collectively made such a profound impact on Sue and I during this fight. I can’t begin to tell you what an inspiration each of you has been for us. I would read each of your postings each night to Sue when she couldn’t, and when she could, she relished each story, each word of encouragement, and each smile that you sent.

Please accept our deepest thanks for your love and support.

Julia seems to be oblivious to it all thus far. I picked her up from school today just like I always do, and we went for a treat at McDonald’s. She got chocolate milk, French fries and chicken nuggets, and then ice cream for desert, even though she didn’t finish her dinner. My sister Leslie and I kept her busy for a while, and then my friend Jorge showed up on his way back from France (Go Lance, Go!) and kept up the activity of distraction.

When she finally asked to see Mommy, I brought out the pictures, just as the bereavement counselor had instructed. “Remember that Mommy was very, very, very sick?” I asked. Julia nodded her head. “ Well, Mommy’s body was broken because she was very, very , very sick and she died. She’s not coming back”.

Wow. Talk about hard. Fortunately, she has the attention span of a two and a half year old, and seemed to take it in stride for now. Hard times are still to come, but another chapter has been written, and the next shall be soon. It is my greatest hope that each of you will continue to be part of these next chapters. I am hoping to gather a collection of stories about Sue from her friends and family, print them out and then share them with Julia sometime in the future. Who knows when, but I’m certain that she will want to know about her mother, and how much she was loved and revered by so many. Don’t pull any punches! Tell it like it was. If you want to keep them private, then email them to me- if not, post them for all of us to enjoy and remember our times with my precious Susie.

May God bless you all.

Keep your dukes up and FIGHT ON.


-----Original Message-----
From: Susan Sands []
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 8:21 AM
To: Goldberg, Allen
Subject: RE: tomorrow

Wish I could but I had to go go for a blood work. Next
Call me when you are are back in time.


From: "Goldberg, Allen"
To: "Susan Sands"
Subject: tomorrow
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 22:14:20 -0400

I'm in NYC. Meetings til 4 pm. Can I stop by?

-----Original Message-----

From: Goldberg, Allen
To: Susan Sands
Date: Jun 3 2005 - 6:55pm

I would have come over. I thought you had moved up your return to PR. I went to a party at Beet's last night. I wish I could have brought you. Wouldn't that have been something. Doug, Steven, Harry, all the boys were there.

-----Original Message-----
From: Susan Sands []
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 3:43 PM
To: Goldberg, Allen
Subject: RE: thur

hi. just got out of the hospital - seemed I needed some bllod and
hydration. All is well now and I am feeling better. I look forward to your
next visit to the city.

From: "Goldberg, Allen"
To: "Susan Sands"
Subject: RE: thur
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 10:09:42 -0400

I thought you were going to be in the city? Glad you are on a much nicer
island. Just bummed not to see you tomorrow. I'll be back up a lot.

-----Original Message-----
From: Susan Sands []
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 9:12 AM
To: Goldberg, Allen
Subject: RE: thur

nope, i am in pr and am on chemo vacation until june8.

From: "Goldberg, Allen"
To: "Susan Sands"
Subject: thur
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 23:16:31 -0400

Are you going to be at the hospital. How do I find you?

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