Light Notes

Saintly Sue keeps life in perspective

I have a friend named Sue — no relation to Johnny Cash — and if I could sing a song about this gal it would be sweet, very sweet.

In fact, after hearing a story recently — told by her husband who is lucky to be alive — I no longer call her just Sweet Sue. Nowadays, I call her by a higher name.

It seems that Sue — who was only known as sweet at the time — and her husband, Jay, were traveling out of town to meet their future in-laws. It would be a short visit that included the theater in Los Angeles, an exquisite brunch, and dinner at fine restaurants.

Sue is not only sweet, but like a Girl Scout, she is always prepared. Her wardrobe had been impeccably packed with outfits for every occasion, a variety of shoes to match, and even extra clothes in case someone else forgot theirs. Like I said, Sue is organized — and sweet.

As they drove from their house, the longtime married pair stopped at the dry cleaner to pick up one of Sweet Sue’s shirts.

“Uh, oh!” she noted. “It looks like they couldn’t get the spaghetti stains out.”

She paused for a moment and then said, “Oh well.”

The miles and minutes stretched as Jay and Sweet Sue raced across the state to catch their flight.

Somewhere beyond the point of no return, a thought began to nag in the back of Jay’s mind. He had put his suitcase in the trunk of the car, and he could see Sweet Sue’s shoe bag in the backseat. But wasn’t there one more piece of luggage that he’d set by the front door?

He stopped the car. He opened the trunk. His heart froze in terror — and so did Sweet Sue’s. Immediately, tears began to roll down Jay’s cheeks. Filled with emotion, he couldn’t contain himself. But then his sides split with laughter.

Obviously, he had HIS luggage — and an image of life just ahead without hers.

Sweet Sue sighed, shed a tear or two, and then giggled, “Oh well.”

When they arrived in L.A. for a packed weekend with future in-laws, saintly Sweet Sue wore her airplane-creased skinny jeans, green spaghetti-stained shirt — and a smile — to a posh restaurant.

The next day, this saint of a woman greeted extended family and friends at brunch, wearing a slightly wrinkled green pasta-speckled shirt and tired tight-fitting jeans. She also wore a happy heart.

And when the whirlwind visit took her to a Hollywood play, this same virtuous gal dressed in the familiar green shirt with contrasting rust-colored spots. Sweet Sue sported a lovely attitude, too.

How could anyone have such a great frame of mind, I wondered? I voiced the question at the end of their story.

Jay — who had a lot of dirty laundry still to do — beamed at his angelic wife as she replied, “Oh well, after I thought about it, I realized the weekend wasn’t about me.”

Oh, but in my mind it was. Soon to be mother-in-law Sweet Sue now holds the title of “Saint Sue.” And I’m singing a little praise of her godly behavior.

I’ll bet her son and future daughter-in-law are, too.