|From The DC Moms|
You know the phrase “welcomed with open arms”? I’ve been the new kid on the block more times than I care to consider. First, as a young child moving from a school in one country to a school in a new country. As a college student stepping foot on an American college campus that could not have been more different than my high school experience in England. As a new college graduate at first one job then two more jobs. As a new mom who thrust herself in to a myriad of Mommy and Me calsses and moms groups and play groups. As a new student in a graduate program. And finally as a blogger I am continually in situations where I am the new kid.
It was at a blogger function that I was welcomed with open arms. I had heard about and Peppermint Patty-ed my way in to a coffee get-together at an Italian ice place in the suburbs of D.C. I’m not usually a forward or pushy person. I tend to hang back and wait for an invitation to join in. But, there is something about the blogging sphere that is very welcoming and inclusive…at least this has been my experience. So, I arrived at the coffee get-together but I was flustered and a bit discombobulated. I got lost on the way there. I knew only one person, and the rest were strangers. I knew as I walked up to the group that I would have to “suck it up.” Put my frustrations and insecurities aside. And anyway I didn’t know anyone well enough to vent my frustrations to…
…except one person immediately sensed that I was stressed and possibly about to lose it. She welcomed me. Encouraged people to move down so that I could squeeze my chair in around the table. Flagged down a waitperson so that I could order a coffee. Within moments, my tension was gone. Gone in a flash because of the kindness of one person who noticed that I was on edge and made me feel welcome.
The person I sitting next to told me that it was Susan Neibur who had welcomed me so warmly that morning. As if to answer a question that I had not asked, the person went on to say that Susan was battling inflammatory breast cancer. I had noticed the lymphedema sleeves, but of course would never have asked her outright why she was wearing sleeves on both arms.
I saw Susan many times over the next few years. Our paths crossed at blogging conferences, local events, and even at the homes of other bloggers. Every time I saw Susan she welcomed me as warmly, if not more so, as that day when I first met her. Sadly, Susan’s continued to fight IBC for many, many months. Her courage was truly extraordinary. She never gave up that is for sure. I cannot believe it has been 1 year since Susan passed. Last year, I wrote a tribute to Susan on this blog.
In Susan’s memory, I would ask you to consider furthering her legacy through a contribution to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Susan was a dedicated supporter of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation. And though Susan’s blog is no longer updated, her blog is a place to find information about Inflammatory Breast Cancer and of course, her true love, planetary science.
Please join bloggers throughout the web in honoring Susan Niebur’s life and contributions with a post, and please add your link below.
What a wonderful welcome! Thanks for sharing such a special and personal story.
I remember that coffee meet up.:)
She was a tremendously welcoming person. I loved that about her.