I have a lot I want to write up about my trip to Quebec, and in particular about both Camp Violon Trad and Memoire et Racines. This post, though, is about news I received while Dara, Vicka, and I were going to Memoire et Racines: i.e., that my friend Susan Moseley had passed away.
Some many months ago Susan had told me in email that she’d been diagnosed with a stage 4 brain cancer. That deeply alarmed me at the time, because yeah, I know from experience with brain cancer; it’s what killed my mother. For a while Susan hung in there, emailing me periodically and letting me know how she was doing. But I’d not heard from her much this year at all, and had not received any reply to the last couple of times I’d emailed her to let her know I was thinking of her. So I’d started to worry about whether her health had taken a turn for the worse.
Apparently it had, because while we were in Joliette for Memoire et Racines (and staying in the nearby community of Notre-Dame-des-Prairies), Susan’s daughter Clare sent out word to her mother’s Facebook friends about a memorial they’re having for her. Which served as my notice that yeah, they’d lost her. :/
I gave Clare my deepest condolences, and, since I can’t go to the memorial the family is having for her, I wanted to write up this post about Susan and what she meant to me, a longer version of what I posted to Facebook.
I first met Susan online via the Le Vent du Nord Facebook page, when I first announced myself as a new fan of the group, and inviting other fans to come and chat with me. Susan emailed me and we hit it off pretty splendidly. She was responsible not only for my eventual decision to try to go to my first Le Vent du Nord show–but also for that show turning out to be the one back in 2012 that took place right before Dara and I got double-married in Canada with our friends Elane and Bai. She even arranged to get us a bottle of champagne. It was awesome.
She was also a significant supporter of the 2012 Kickstarter I ran for the second edition of Faerie Blood along with the release of Bone Walker. And by supporter, I mean not only monetarily, but also contributing significant beta reading effort for Bone Walker. We’re talking old school proofreading, too. She printed off the entire manuscript and wrote her remarks up on it. And then mailed it to me. I was super impressed by this, though she modestly demurred about having done anything special.
Dara and I got to meet her in person only once, during the 2012 Great Atlantic Canada Adventure. But we did spend a lovely afternoon with her wandering around Toronto. And, as I recall, she was wearing a Doctor Who shirt.
She sent me print copies of her daughter’s wonderful Ensign Sue Must Die comics, all three parts thereof.
She sent me a double album of music by the Stringband, by way of furthering my familiarity with Canadian folk music.
She sent me a couple of adorable little fingerpuppets made in the likeness of Elvis (an obvious choice for me, of course) and Virginia Woolf (NOT an obvious choice for me). They are now living on our refrigerator, since they have magnets on them.
She sent me tickets for Dara and me to get into the Le Vent show at Hermann’s jazz club in Victoria, which has since gone down in my personal fangirl history as “the first show where I had the mammoth”.
And oh, her love for Le Vent du Nord. My own affection for this band got a lot of its initial fuel from her, just because she spoke so highly of these boys not only as musicians, but also as people. She arranged multiple gigs for them in Uxbridge. She gave them meals and crash space and in general, from what she told me, was an excellent den mother type making it easy for them to go make awesome noises at all her neighbors.
It was very, very obvious to me from her emails how much she loved them, and now, every time I see them play, I will think of her. And I’ll hope that a little bit of her soul will waft along with every note they hit.
Rest in peace, dear Susan. I’ll miss you.