The first time we met, 20-odd years ago, I was nursing a dreadful hangover. Rather than being quietly judgemental, she just laughed at me. I knew we’d be friends.
We worked together for the best part of 10 years – shared the excitements of first property purchases, and the disappointments of relationship breakdowns. We were so excited when we fell pregnant at roughly the same time. And then a few months later came the awful news that Susan and Jorn-Guy had lost their little baby. I remember through the sadness, being awed by their openness, by their capacity to bravely face and share their grief. It was humbling to observe, and an honour to be included.
Their second pregnancy soon followed. And when my new business was in its very fledgling state, Susan and Jorn-Guy willingly allowed me to ‘practice’ on their newborn baby girl. I still have the card and the gift that she gave me at the event to celebrate the launch of Smile Photographics.
A couple of years later, around the time that we moved to Perth, Susan and Jorn-Guy took that little girl and their new baby boy to Berlin to live for a few years. Facebook helped us stay in contact during this time, and when we moved back to Brisbane in January last year I was impatient for her to come home too. Then just before Easter I received the message that made me stop in my tracks and fall to the ground. That little bear, who was now 2 years old, the same as my Rosie, had a malignant brain tumor.
Once again Susan and Jorn-Guy amazed me with their display of unity and strength. They created a special Facebook Group where they could keep all their friends up to date with new information, and as a result we went on the journey with them. Jorn-Guy’s wry German wit had me in tears of laughter, as he wrote about vomit and poo, and the other unpleasant side effects of the little man’s chemotherapy and treatments, and then in tears of despair that this could even be happening.
12 months later that brave little bear shows clear MRI scans as part of his ongoing treatment journey, and is also now a big brother.
And true to form, Susan let me ‘practice’ a new shooting style on her.
Goddesses walk amongst us people.