This blog has been the hardest one in the Placencia Family Series to write so far. Why? Plain and simple, Aunt Sue is “the nice one.” Not that the other people in my family aren’t nice, don’t get me wrong. But Sue is just…well, she’s just a good person. I’m also not saying Sue is boring, don’t get me wrong. She’s not. I love to be around her and talk and laugh (Sue, like the rest of my family, loves to laugh)…I just don’t have any stories about Sue like “the time she robbed a gas station” or “the time she clunked someone with a shovel” or “the time Sue tipped over the grill in a fit of rage at the family reunion.”
All of my memories of Sue (and her family: her husband Joe and her son, Joe) are really nice. Being around Sue, you just feel comfortable and (I’ll use that word again) nice. Whenever I picture Sue in my head, she’s smiling. In fact, I can’t think of a time when Sue hasn’t offered me a smile. I still recall at my grandmother’s funeral Sue touching my arm and smiling. Sometimes a smile says more than words could.
When my Mom and Dad got divorced, it was sometimes especially hard on Mom because my Dad’s side of the family is so big, she seemed to bump into a Placencia everywhere she went. And sometimes people were less-than-kind. Not Sue. Mom still tells me to this day that whenever she would see Sue at the store or in a restaurant, Sue always smiled, always said hello, and stopped to talk. To this day, when I see Sue, one of the first things she asks me is “How’s your mom doing?”
Sue could have just as easily decided to write Mom off…after all, Mom isn’t married to Sue’s brother anymore, I understand. But that’s not Sue.
You see, Sue’s the nice one.