Susan Rashid and I have been dear friends since we worked together at Flax Art Supplies in SFO back in the 80’s. She’s been fighting cancer the last six years — you know those memes of grumpy cats with the legend, “I’m not someone you want to fuck with!”? That was Susie.

Eventually, though, she finally just had to let go. Sarcastic, no-nonsense, perhaps the biggest Tom Petty fan in all christendom, horse rider, a founding member of the Colorado Avian Research and Rehabilitation Institute of Estes Park, the type who’d bitch-slap and tell you to “man up” if you were feeling sorry for yourself and then turn around and crochet you a lovely comforter while she was in hospital recovering from a double mastectomy. A tough-as-nails midwestern gal with a marshmallow heart.

I’m not looking for your condolences here — those belong to her husband Scott, who’s been by her side the whole time since her diagnosis — I just wanted to highlight the life of a special and unique individual whose absence I will feel, and maybe send a wish out into the Universe that one day we can realign our priorities and resources away from things like tax cuts for the super wealthy and conspicuous consumption and focus more on research and treatment for cancer, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, etc., and support for palliative care.

Clear skies and good tailwinds, Susie.

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