Live Your Life

During my, do I have a brain tumor scare, I ran into a woman who told me about someone we both knew who’s suffering from early signs of dementia. She’s somebody I’ve worked with who was always very kind to me so I took the news especially hard.

Before Abigail went on her way she handed me a Kleenex and said, “So go live your life Susannah, for Patty’s sake.”

I didn’t repeat that story because frankly I found it too disturbing while facing a possible health crisis. Was it some kind of eerie omen hearing this news as if God was saying, you’re next kid, so get prepared?

Of course my news turned out to be good, grace being lent to me, once again.

On that same day, I read that the actress Valerie Harper has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Saying I was humbled would not begin to do justice to my feelings.

I called everyone I knew finding it odd that no one had heard about it. Again I thought, is God talking just to me, reminding me how lucky I am? After my MRI no one came out to tell me I had only three months left to live, like they told Valerie.

I watched her as Rhoda faithfully the whole time the show was on, her humor never failing to ignite mine week after week. She has one of those smiles that could melt ice that I can’t quite believe we’ll only being seeing in reruns.

Imagine being given news like that…that you were done…no more summers, your final spring.

To add to my list of sorrows, on Sunday I learned that my friend Lisa had to put Chester, her beloved Beagle, down after an MRI showed that he wasn’t doing very well. She opted to release him from his pain and suffering taking on the burden of her own.

If you’ve ever lost a pet, it’s by far one of the saddest times of your life…letting go of a creature who loved you, no matter what.


I have a special request to everyone who wishes to participate.

This week, please do something for yourself you would never dream of doing…something that you normally feel would be too lavish, too expensive: buying those shoes you drooled over in a catalog, Stones tickets you can’t possibly afford or a long weekend with your sweetie on an island somewhere. Even if it’s just taking a day off so you can walk in the park with your Beagle.

go out and live your life…please…

do it for Valerie…

and Patty…

and Chester who, I can bet, loved a good stroll in the park.




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Gratitude, Health, Uncategorized, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Live Your Life

  1. Thank you Susannah for this wonderful reminder. I felt the exact same way about it all. The deafening quiet in my house is horrible. We took our daughter back to school yesterday which adds to more quiet. My son is having such a hard time about Chester, which just breaks my heart even more…thanks again for always referencing Chester and caring.


    • Feel bad for your son. It’s probably his first loss. The last animal I lost was a cat and I still cry over her. They are such pals…I’ll say a prayer for your son. Keep writing Lisa…tell more Chester stories. He was so funny.


  2. Reblogged this on Life With The Top Down and commented:
    I had to share this wonderful message from Susannah, it’s a great way to start the week.


  3. Elyse says:

    Oh such a beautiful post. Thanks for reminding us that we’re all important. And for remembering Chester — I’m a blogging buddy of Tops’.


    • I know what a hard time this is for Tops and her family. Chester was her other son. That’s what happens. They may look a little different but your heart owns them just the same. He was such a cute boy…and funny, like his mom. Thanks for writing.


  4. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    Very Sweet and touching ! Speak to you soon, when do you see Sammy ?

    Hal Rubenstein
    First Vice President
    Financial Advisor
    Senior Portfolio Manager

    Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
    One Fawcett Place, 3rd FL
    Greenwich, CT 06830
    Direct: 203-625-4851
    Toll Free: 800-243-5977
    Tel: 203-661-3330
    Fax: 203-661-4280


  5. Wonderful post. I was so sad to here about Valerie this weekend on the news. Good reminder for us all.


  6. thank you for this post, I came over to your blog after seeing the post on Lisa’s blog. Her post on Chester broke my heart, and your post has just blessed me immensely. We just heard last week that after over 19 months of testing, my hubby does not have alzheimer’s. We are still in the testing mode, but I can relate to your feelings. I am so thankful the Lord has given grace to you and I pray your health returns to perfection as you were created to be. Thank you for this post and your sensitivity. DAF


    • Thank you for such kind words. Grace, it’s a favorite of mine. Maybe your husband has been given some as well. I hope so.

      I do think we witness the suffering of others to remind us that life is a gift that we need to pay homage to every day. I’m sad but very grateful. Thanks so much for writing, and we will always remember Chester, one of the greats.


      • wonderful comment, thank you for your response. After reading just one of your posts, I feel like my heart has been ministered to. My hubby and I have experienced God’s grace and mercy so often, and we are humbled by His perfect love for us. Hope today is a good day for you.


      • Thank you…it’s been pretty nice so far…the weather is milder, I managed to run, something due to sadness I haven’t been doing. I hope that you and your husband have a nice day too.

        I noticed you became a follower. Thanks for that. My essays are versatile, so let’s hope you’re never offended by something I say.


      • it takes an awful lot to offend me… I am looking forward to reading your work.


      • Thanks..appreciate you saying that.


  7. Margarita says:

    And do it for your own self. Life is to be lived, in all it’s glorious mess! Thank you. xoM


  8. Sending well-wishes to all who might be struggling with health issues and those who are facing difficult days ahead. Thank you for your touching post and I will go treat myself, somehow, this week, thinking of your sentiments.


    • Excellent…make it something very special. I’m taking myself out for a lavish lunch. I’ll make certain to toast those struggling and bless myself for still another reprieve. Thanks for writing to me.


  9. This was a great post and very touching.


  10. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. Words of wisdom that we forget in the course of the daily grind. I too am devastated by Valerie Harper’s news. I’m so grateful that your own news was good, I can only begin to tell you.

    So sorry to Lisa for the loss of dear Chester. My heart breaks for you, I know that particular pain all too well.


  11. Jed says:

    Promise to do just that.


  12. benzeknees says:

    Chester just joined Bandit (my beloved rottie who had to leave us 18 months ago) & Annie (my daughter’s dog who died suddenly of leukemia just shortly before Bandit) playing in Heaven. They are chasing balls & taking long leashless walks in the park together!


    • What a wonderful image. You know, putting an animal down is an amazing decision not to mention a selfless one. I know how much Lisa loved Chester and can only imagine your feelings for Bandit and Annie. Animals are stoic, brave…they never let you know something is wrong unless they really have to.

      A guy I knew who always had rotties told me that the reason they get sick where it seems out of nowhere is because they suck it up so not to worry those they love. I’ll always remember him telling me that.

      I’m sorry for your losses, truly. I’ve been there. Thanks for writing, but more than that, thanks for caring.


  13. Patricia says:

    Life can be a mess. I have learned to live happily with it’s messiness most of the time. Sometimes though I want a major clean-up, like when I lose a catkid.


  14. Rob says:

    “You’re next so get prepared” is a very negative interpretation. Surely, the way to look at it is “you only have one life, make sure you live it to the full at every opportunity”. Everybody dies. That’s a good reason to have fun while you can, not to waste time moping over those that have gone.


    • Can’t always be cheerful Rob. It was a scary time…I really thought I might have been ill. I know everybody dies, but you don’t want to be one of them.


      • Rob says:

        You can’t always be cheerful; indeed you need the “downs”, else there can be no “ups”. You wouldn’t want to be blonde sorry bland would you? We’re both going to die: I don’t want to go on for ever, so it follows I do want to be one of them. If you think it through, you’ll probably agree, you do too.


      • Oh dear! No, I don’t want to go on forever…but I do hope my exit is gracious and quick.


      • Rob says:

        Yes, that’s as much as any of us can hope for. It’s the one thing pets have over us: the offer of a speedy despatch.


  15. ciao! we have the now and must profit from our moment. your post peaks to my heart.


  16. jimmie chew says:

    wow S.B. this was a great post, loved it.


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