I had only written of Susanna a few times before I joined Writers World; those were poems. I still have them. I wanted to write about her, but had gone no further than a few stanzas about lost love. Joining WW gave me the impetus I needed to write more. As it turns out, I’ve written several essays about Susanna, one about Susan, and a bio-fiction about another woman in my life, Aida in my WIP. Maybe I’m exorcising love demons, I don’t know. I’m a romantic, sentimental, and must have a defective male heart or something (well, it could be the four sisters…). Yes, it doesn’t take much to make me bawl like a baby.
Writing about Susanna, though, is cathartic. I feel like I’m finally giving voice to the love we had for one another, and releasing the sorrow over her sudden death all those years ago, alone, in the hospital in Puerto de Santa Maria. At times, as I write, I see her and feel her presence, and then I must stop and wipe away the tears before I can go on.
Susanna Avila of Barcelona, Spain, five years older than my twenty, was my first love, and my first heartbreak. Her death startled me with its unexpected nature, and tested my faith. It left a pain in my heart that is tempered by the memories of Susanna I carry there. Some pains never heal. This pain I don’t want to heal. And when I die, Susanna is the person I want to see on the other side.