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When we open an account on Facebook, we’re offered the opportunity to connect with people as friends.Β  We get many friend requests, and some we accept, some we don’t. We also have the ability to ask others to become part of our friends list. Back in the days when I wrote for Squidoo, I had a little group of writers under the name of Squidoo Positivity on that social media site. All of the members were Squidoo writers and a few were Squidoo personnel. Susan Deppner and I became friends, though she was employed by Squidoo. Sadly, on Friday, September 29, 2017, Susan passed away from cancer she’d been fighting for months. This is a brief story of our friendship and of a life well lived.

Susan was a unique person. In a time when so many people hurl insults at each other, Susan offered kindness and love. She never turned away from her friends and she always helped everyone. If she couldn’t help with a problem, she would suggest someone who could. She was as dependable as the morning sunrise and the evening stars. If Susan said she would do something, you could take it to the bank. She was a steadying influence in my online life, and when Squidoo folded,Β  I changed the name of our group to The Writer’s Door. As our membership grew, I found I needed more hands on deck, so I asked Susan if she would be an administrator for the group. I think she was a little surprised by the request, but said if I thought she could do it, yes she would. There was no doubt in my mind that she could do it, and so we began a closer working relationship.

In time, we talked about many things in private messages with each other; the group policies, our families, our thoughts on the world. We became close friends, not just colleagues. I knew her love and pride for her family and she knew the same about me. Her happiness with her family increased after she became a grandmother when her little grandson Jack arrived. She did the usual grandma thing as we all do and shared photos in our close group of admins. It was good to see the joy she felt over his birth.

Many times in our writer’s group, when I stumbled on getting something done or forgot something, she would jump in and fill in the gaps. She was my right hand and made me look good by just being her sweet, conscientious self. She never expected recognition or praise, but she earned it every day of her life. The Writer’s Door will never be the same without her, and neither will I.

With the passing of Susan, I feel I’ve lost a sister, because she meant that much to me. I knew her, not just as a Facebook friend, but as the beautiful person she was. I could always turn to her for advice about anything. There were several phone conversations between us, and she always sounded happy to hear from me, no matter what it was about. I carried her phone number with me when we went on trips, so that I could reach her in case of an emergency when I couldn’t get online. She had common sense and a caring, loving presence. I miss hearing that sweet voice. I know I will always miss her steadying, soothing, sweet presence forever.

RIP Susan Deppner, gentle soul. Yours was a life well-lived, and you are missed by so many of us who love you.