I wanted to honor my sister through ‘Because She Does’ and my sisters name is Susie Garoufalias.
From an infant my sister Susie has always had her persona manifested through her actions. In fact, I was told that when I was a baby and cried at night, my mom would rush to quiet me only to find another who had arrived first; Susie who was calmly rocking me back to sleep. That is my sister, constantly thinking of others before herself, no matter how tired she might be or what trials she might be dealing with herself.
As we grew up and all the siblings got married and started their own families, my parents concluded that we would choose names for one family to give gifts to. However, Susie and her husband loved the response of all the happy faces on their nieces and nephews and could not bare to not give to all. So they continued on giving to all and did not think twice about all the gifts they had to purchase.
In addition, my sister and her husband own a car dealership and from my experience it seems common among people that when a practice is owned for awhile it’s hard to keep giving to family members. However, this is not the case for Susie and her husband. For many years, they have consciously taken good care of the entire extended family- when there are car problems, and also offering the cheapest price for their cars. Also, many of their nieces and nephews are now grown up and most are college students that own used cars which constantly need repairs. The cars seem to always be fix for free or for a very nominal fee. Even when they were hit hard by the economy downfall and cars were not in high demand, it didn't stop them from helping out.
Susie has always been the one in the family to lend a ear, to let her desires be surpassed to ensure that other wants are met.
Last of all, when her son was a teenager he had a deleterious fall while skiing and had to be hospitalized. Despondently, the son became addicted to prescription drugs and tragically, it let to a lethal overdosed. I cannot imagine the pain that my sister must deal with on a daily basis to lose a son at such a young age. A son who always had a huge smile for everyone and brought such happiness to her life. I honor her for her courage, to press on through life and do so with the continued love and kindness that has always been her hallmark.
I love you Sue --- from your baby sis