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June 17, 2008

Dedicating This Trip to Susie

The wife of Dan's oldest childhood friend is a tiny, lovely woman with a rare warmth and inner beauty. Everyone who knows her loves her. If you put a picture in the dictionary next to the word "goodness", it would be her smiling face.

For years now, she has been fighting a battle with cancer. She wins one round and then gets sucker punched with more. The determination with which she continues to fight is inspiring. Her cheerfulness, grace, gentleness, and lack of self-pity is Saintly with a capital "S". But, this cancer is viciously invasive, and the fight gets harder. All traditional treatments have been exhausted and she is now on 100% experimental treatments.

I am ashamed to say that the busyness of my insignificant daily pursuits have gotten in the way of spending the time I could have with her. And time is the most important gift I should be giving.

Instead, I work too much, spend far too many hours here in front of my computer, and plan trips.

So, for Susie, this next month is dedicated to supporting her fight. Dan and I will be taking a special candle with us into every church, chapel, and cathedral we visit. We'll light that candle and say a prayer for Susie's continued strength & comfort.

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I'd like to ask a favor of my blog readers and SlowTrav friends. As you visit the great and small houses of faith around the world -- will you light a candle for Susie? If possible, will you take a photo of that candle and e-mail it to me with a note about where and when it burned? And if you will, please forward this blog entry link to any friends you have who may be travelling.

The first thing I'm determined to do, when we return is to visit her with pictures of all the places where she and her struggle was being remembered.

July 18, 2008

My Two Favorite Italy Lightings

We are back, and were able to light the candle in 25 different churches, monasteries, & chapels.

My first order of business is to edit the photos of Susie's Candle lightings in all three countries.

I'm going to go to one of those on-line photo sites and produce a book for her of all our lightings.

As you would imagine, some of my very favorites were in Italy. I wrote a note in Italian and Alessandra edited for me so it didn't read like it came from Babelfish. We showed it to the officials in the places we visited. It explained what we were doing with the candle and asked permission to light and photograph it.

Here are my two favorite candle lighting experiences in Italy:

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In the lower chapel of the tomb of St. Francesco di Assisi, we were permitted to go behind the rope to light our candle in the nook normally reserved for use by the monks. As visitors lined up in front of the tomb, a kind monk and a nun stood with us; shielded us from view; and said a prayer as we lit the candle. Even though cameras are strictly prohibited in the area, they graciously permitted to take the photo.

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This tiny little church, dedicated to St. Antonio of Padua, is part of Borgo di Montemigiano. It is also built into the original 12th century city wall and is literally next door to our house. The chapel is closed for repairs to the tower and the entire area is encased in scaffolding and orange plastic netting. But when I showed my note to the construction foreman, he instructed all of his men to quit working for a few minutes. Then they removed tools and equipment from the area in front of the alter and all stood with us while we lit the candle. It was very moving.

August 31, 2008

I Must Hurry...

Time is too short for me to put together the book I planned. I knew better. I should have done it the moment we got home from our trip. I waited too long.

Now, I must hurry. I took my pictures to the instant print store for 4x6 prints. I bought a scrapbook and I'm putting together an album now.

Tomorrow is Labor Day, but while everyone else is preparing for their BBQ, Dan and I will be driving to our friends house with the album. We've been told not to delay. Too little, too late.

Thank you Marta, for sending me yours. And thank you to everyone else who lit candles. I'm very grateful. Here are the photos I've collected. I'm going in reverse order of our travels.

ITALY


The private chapel at Borgo di Montemegiano dedicated to San Antonio di Padua and The Abbazia di Montecorona in Umbertide

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The Tomb of San Francesco di Assisi and St. Mary Over Minerva in Assisi.

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St. Augustine & S. Dominico in Gubbio

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MONTENEGRO


San Nikola and San Trifone in Kotor

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San Luca in Kotor and The Chapel of Our Lady of Salvation in the fortification wall overlooking Kotor and Kotor Bay

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The Monastery at Ostrog and Roadside Shrine Near Ostrog

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A Monastery near Vilusi and A nameless chapel near Grahovo

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A Chapel in Cetinje and The Monastery of Piva

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BUDAPEST


St. Stephens Basilica in Budapest and St. Mathias Church in Budapest

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Shrine to St. Margit, after whom Margit Island in Budapest is named.

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Thank you, Marta, for this lovely image of the candle you lit at the Chapel of St. Ignatius on the campus of Seattle University.

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May 10, 2009

4:00 PM, Sunday, May 10, 2009

Five years ago, we got the bad news. And then she fought.
Four years ago, it fought back. So she fought harder.
Three years ago we thought she had won.
But it searched her body for new targets.
Two years ago she was running out of tools.
But still she fought.
Last year, we thought she had lost.
We prepared for our grief.
But she wasn't finished fighting.
This afternoon at 4PM CST ... it finally won.
But not before she showed us how to fight with grace.

Go in peace, Susie. We will always love you and miss you.

October 5, 2009

Susie's Smile

The last time all of Susie's family and friends were together it was to say goodbye to her physical body.

On Saturday, we gathered again. This time to celebrate her daughter's wedding. Susie's physical body was no longer with us, but her spiritual body most assuredly was.


That beautiful smile beamed from her photo next to the alter.

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And we saw it again that night on her daughter's face as she danced with her Dad.


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It was a wonderful evening full of love and celebration, and not a moment of sadness. Just the way Susie wanted it to be.

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Old Shoes - New Trip in the Susie's Candle category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Spain & Portugal 2007 is the previous category.

This Week at Global Foods is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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