We are so pleased and grateful to present a guest post from Ken Delorge. I don't know if he and his wife Claudette are honorary La Tour/Verroi's or if we all are honorary Delorge's, but either way we love them like family. Christy and I are at the beginning of our journey with Josiah and Jalen, but Ken and his family have walked the path through to its earthly end with his sister Susie. Though this is a story that ends in death, it is not a tragedy. From Ken's introduction and the eulogy that he wrote for her, you will hear a love story that ends in jubilation. Today is her second anniversary in Heaven, and we know she is unfettered by disability and expectantly awaiting reunion. For the impact that she had on Ken and the impact that he's had on us, we thank our loving God.
It has been two years since my younger sister Susie passed away due to respiratory complications. As the following eulogy explains, she was a special needs child born into a world that was in a time of tremendous transition and turmoil. As Bob Dylan sang, “the times they were a changing,” but the times were also still dark and insensitive when it came to having children or siblings with special needs. Oscar Pistorius and his phenomenal races during the recently held London Olympic Games highlight the changes that have occurred in the ensuing four decades since my sister’s birth. Those of us personally effected by “special needs” or “differently abled” children rejoiced at his accomplishments. We all have a long way to go and grow when it comes to accepting those that are unlike us. Christians need to completely develop a Christ-like acceptance of others. Those that have not accepted Christ as Savior need to see their own special need: salvation through and in Jesus. Once that has been addressed then and only then can one genuinely accept others as God has created them.
I remember with great clarity the ignorance and pettiness that I endured as a neighbor railed on me about my sister the “retard”. It is with tears in my eyes that I recall the struggle my Mom had with Susie, and how coming home from school I would gently rock her in my rocking chair and sing songs to her that my Memere Gosselin had taught me. The rocking would calm my sister and provide some relief to my Mom.
As you read this post, be thankful for the family and friends that the LORD in HIS providence has placed into your life. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. We are so precious in HIS sight that HE freely gave HIS son to die on the cross for each of us - a free gift given to any and all that receive it. I am who I am today because of my sister. For thirty years now I have worked as a teacher due to my love for Susie, as I said at her funeral she is my hero, she is in heaven and I just can’t wait to see her there.
First of all, on behalf of Mom and Dad, Robby and I and our families thank you for your prayers and support over the past few weeks. We do not know why God choose to take Susan in the manner that HE did, but we know that in “everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to embrace, and a time to love.”
These past few weeks our family has experienced all these things and each one of us has taken the opportunity to look back and reflect upon our shared journey with Susie these past 44 years. It has been quite a journey….
Susan Cecil Delorge was born on September 8, 1966 at the Webber Hospital in Biddeford Maine.
Throughout the past 44 years Susie taught us how to love unconditionally, she loved us completely, never expecting or demanding our love in return. But how could we not love her, one of God’s little angels, given to us as an undeserved gift from above.
“Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast… love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” That was the heavenly love that Susie gave to each one of us.
As a young boy, I can remember asking GOD to heal Susie, to allow me to change places with her. I just didn’t understand why HE made Susie the way HE did. "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child." I spoke with child like faith to GOD, and thought and reasoned as a child. I just didn’t understand why; none of us did.
Each one of us grows up with dreams, dreams of meeting Mr. or Miss Right, of getting married and starting a family. Mom and Dad were no different. Married on September 2, 1957, they started to live their dream together, Robby came first on July 11, 1958, and I showed up on March 29, 1960. Summers can be hot, and if you know my mother, she hates the heat, so the summer of 1966 must have been a touch uncomfortable for her, but she made it through the summer with our visits to Keoka Lake. Finally the day arrived and Susie joined our family, Mom and Dad knew something was different with their little girl, she was a gift from GOD that was special and she would have guardian angels working overtime watching over her, not because she might get in trouble - Robby and I would need them for that - but because of her special needs.
Susie’s special needs led her to many places, and allowed her to the touch the lives of countless people, Mrs. Barton in Derry NH, the folks at Pineland Center, and for the past 16 years the staff at Windmill Farms in Springvale. Everywhere she went she seemed to enjoy herself, whether it was at the beach, at Camp Waban, at a farm to pet the animals, at the bowling alley with her friends at Windmill farms, or at the Special Olympics. Susie just wanted to enjoy her time with her friends and family, in her own way she made every day a masterpiece. Everyone that she touched will miss her simple artistry.
“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them… But Jesus saw it… and said to them “Let the little children come unto me, do not hinder them, for such belongs to the kingdom of God… And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.”
Today we grieve, we mourn, and we hurt, how much greater would that sadness be if we had never had Susie in our lives. Each one of us here has been simply blessed by that little girl with the infectious smile and giggle.
Today we have this hope… that "He will wipe every tear from our eyes, …neither shall there be any mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have been taken away."
Susie spent this life confined to the earthly body GOD gave her, but today she walks upon streets of gold, today she talks with Jesus. Today let us remember the little girl that touched our lives with the unconditional love of GOD, let us look upon all of GOD’s children as fearfully and wonderfully made. As precious angels in His sight, just as we looked upon Susie, our daughter, sister, niece, cousin and aunt.
We love you Susie, I love you Susie; I can't wait to see you again someday…