Suzanne moved to Luther Village in 2018 to have some support and additional care for her husband John. After the passing of John, Suzanne decided to remain at Luther Village and has always enjoyed being busy. Most days you can find her playing piano for everyone in the Muskoka Lounge, enjoying a visit and walk outside or delivering newspapers within the village. Suzanne has a vibrant personality and is always eager to help others. Her life experiences provide an interesting and wise perspective to the questions in her interview.
Describe your parents & grandparents, what were they like, what did you learn from them?
My parents and grandparents were all wonderful people. My father was a dentist and my mother was a nurse. My mother died at age 48 of bowel cancer and my father lived to be 85 years old. My mother’s mother - my grandmother - was a great woman who held your respect.
“All of them taught me to live a decent life leading by example.”
What was the greatest challenge you overcame & how?
The death of my mother when I was 13 years old was difficult. My father told me, “these things are hard to understand and that God needed her more” than we did. He told me that by overcoming this we (add, “would) become stronger.
Suzanne received the following poem about loving and loss from a friend, that helped after the recent death of her husband:
You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
Be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he’d want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
What is something not a lot of people would know about you?
I was a farmer. My husband John was a professor but after retiring from that he bought a red tractor and we farmed. I enjoyed driving that tractor!
What are you most grateful for in your life?
My faith. The power of the Holy Spirit has guided me throughout my life. I am grateful to live by the motto, “Let the light of the Lord shine through what you do”.
What did you do for work? What was this experience like?
I was a state registered nurse and wanted to practice nursing in England. I actually met my husband John while waiting for my flight to England and then happened to be sitting beside him on the flight! Once we were married and back in Canada, I worked in the home raising our two children…and then of course my years as a farmer. I also volunteered for 20 years with Meals on Wheels helping people who could not get out.
What is something you’ve wanted to do but haven’t?
Practiced piano more! I had my grade 8 piano but once I got busy raising my family, I didn’t practice enough so now I am re-learning. I have been playing at Luther Village for the other residents when they wander past. Music has been a big part of my family’s life.
What does age mean to you?
Age means to me, that at a certain time, I am ready to go. I think of death as not the end, but the beginning.
Who are the most important people in your life & why?
My two children: Jenny and Jeffrey. My aim in life was to raise children who would contribute to society. I am proud of what they have accomplished and who they have become. They are both talented musicians.
What is your hope for future generations? What advice would you give to them?
I hope that future generations can recognize the importance of family values, like eating together and spending quality time together and prioritize family. I think the best advice would be to set an example to others.
What are you most proud of?