Kensington, MD, January 27, 2012 - So here’s the thing: each day is a gift.
There’s a woman who lives not far from me named Susan Niebur. Some of you may have already heard of her and her story. For those who haven’t, Susan is a local mom, blogger and planetary scientist. She is also one of the millions of women who has fought breast cancer. Her fight may be ending soon and she is going to leave a hole in the online community that will never be filled.
I met Susan through the amazing group of local blogger who once formed a group site called DC Metro Moms. When that site was disbanded be the management, we stuck together and created The DC Moms (which is truly awesome and everyone should be reading it. Really. Truly.). Susan was an integral part of it all and a long-time friend to many of the other women who write for The DC Moms. As a newcomer to the DC blogging scene, I’ve only met Susan in passing a few times but she inspires me.
You see, in my professional life, I worked in cancer advocacy and Susan was a leader in that area, working with multiple cancer-related groups as a speaker, advocate, and face of breast cancer. Like most of the cancer survivors I’ve known, she carries herself with a rock-solid strength and grace, with no self-pity and no self-aggrandizing. Cancer made her stronger than she ever thought she would have to be and she has shared her strength in a way that I doubt she ever dreamed.
On her blog, Susan has chronicled her five year fight with cancer including successful courses of treatment, set-backs, and a journey through the dizzying world of recurrence and palliative treatment for cancer-induced pain. When she was admitted to the hospital a week ago with breathing issues, those of us who follow her story waited with bated breath for the outcome. Those who pray prayed, those who hope hoped.
Susan is home with her family now, as she told us all here at her site Toddler Planet. People from all over the online world are rallying to tell her she is loved, she inspires, she has taught, and she has given us something with her words about being a woman, being a scientist, being a mother, and being a survivor of cancer. We are all reaching across cyber-space to lift up one of our own.
And I dare say that as we whisper what might be good-bye to Susan, we are all reminded to love our lives in all their capacity even more than we did yesterday.
The thing is, Susan has become more than the sum of her parts. Her voice has given us all a taste of wisdom. I am grateful to have known her even a little and to have learned about grace and strength and speaking my truth as she has done. And she reminds me that each day is a gift to be lived to its fullest.
Rebekah is a DC-area mom with an over-developed sense of irreverence, socialist tendencies, ADD, and a blog. She recently quit her non-profit sector job to pursue her dream of not working. She now spends her time answering her 4-year-old son’s questions and ranting at her blog Mom-in-a-Million, talking about life as a DC Mom at The DC Moms and sharing her political views at The Broad Side. You can find her on Twitter at MomIn_AMillion.
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