“The presence of that absence is everywhere.” Edna St. Vincent Millay
Susan Reynolds20 September 1951 – 10 November 2014who found happiness in Cambodia and its childrenand wanted to repay that kindness.We would like to acknowledge and celebrate the life of Susan Reynolds, whose final act of kindness after a lifetime of giving to others was to leave a generous bequest to CCT. We would also like to give special thanks to her sister, Annie, who assisted with managing this commemoration.When it comes time to prepare a last will and testament, many people consider their families; after all – we want to make sure the loved ones we have known all our lives, and who have nurtured us, are taken care of as best we can after we are gone. But for the tens of thousands of children in Cambodia’s institutions, the life-long bond of family support has been removed. For this reason, leaving a bequest to an organisation that reunites families, and enables parents to care for their own children, is a powerful legacy to leave – it is leaving the gift of family to others. We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Susan and her family for this generous donation which will allow us to ensure many Cambodian children are happy, healthy and living in families while they leave poverty behind together.Susan was born in Sydney and enjoyed happy early years playing with her siblings in the lovely big garden of their old weatherboard house in Epping. They rode on the nectarine trees pretending they were horses, and argued over who should take charge of their baby sister. Their social life was weekend dinners at grandma’s house, visiting uncles and aunts on both sides of the family, and playing with their cousins. Sadly, her life was deeply affected with sickness from her earliest years with very severe asthma, yet she still enjoyed herself with books, dress-ups, and collecting small, pretty or unusual things – a bowerbird from birth. Susan endured severe clinical depression from her teenage years, which was only diagnosed much later.
Summer afternoons we spent beside Eagle Pond, on a bite-sized beach among frogs, mink, and beaver. Jane lay in the sun, tanning, while I read books in a canvas sling chair. Every now and then, we would dive into the pond. Sometimes, for an early supper, we broiled sausage on a hibachi. After twenty years of our remarkable marriage, living and writing together in double solitude, Jane died of leukemia at forty-seven, on April 22, 1995.Now it is April 22, 2016, and Jane has been dead for more than two decades. Earlier this year, at eighty-seven, I grieved for her in a way I had never grieved before. I was sick and thought I was dying. Every day of her dying, I stayed by her side—a year and a half. It was miserable that Jane should die so young, and it was redemptive that I could be with her every hour of every day. Last January I grieved again, this time that she would not sit beside me as I died.
Source: Double Solitude – The New Yorker
To everyone who is sitting up late enough that they can forget that the bed is empty and the loved one gone, Hello. May you eventually sleep well. There are more of us out here thinking of you. Even though there is nothing we can do to help except wave across the ether.