Susan McCorkindale

Author. Editor. Autism Advocate.

Cancer Sucks


Sometimes I bury my face in it

Stu is gone six years on Thursday. Shortly after he passed, the boys and I went through a few of his favorite things. Casey wanted his dad’s Marine Corps album. Cuyler wanted his watch and wallet. I wanted his ratty Marines sweatshirt. I used to tease him about its decrepit condition, but he sure looked cute in it. And he let me wear it when I was pregnant with Casey, and then with Cuy, when I was as big as a bear. I keep it on a box under my bed and every now and then I pull it out and bury my face in its softness. It hasn’t smelled like him in a long time and yet a few days ago, when I sat on my bedroom floor holding and kissing and sniffing it, and it smelled of nothing, I was surprised. And angry. Six years is a long time. The three of us have been through so much in that time. And I’m not whining. No one’s life is smooth sailing. But, crazy as this sounds, I sat there thinking we deserved some sort of reward for having survived and just a whiff of the dad and husband who left us too soon would have been enough.

And then it hit me. If it couldn’t smell like Stu it’ll smell like Sue. It’s not the same by any means, but the boys will be happy to see it. They might even want to borrow it. And then God knows what it’ll smell like.





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For your reading pleasure…

My latest piece, entitled “Today Is Not My Day. And Tomorrow Isn’t Looking Good, Either,” is up on the Huffington Post. I hope you’ll take a moment to read it and leave a comment on the site itself. Thanks!

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Wild horses (and a couple escaped cows) couldn’t drag us away

I love my little community. I think ninety percent of the people here showed up for my husband’s memorial service last spring, and not one of them has forgotten that next month marks the one-year anniversary of his death. I guess I’m thinking about this today because last night was the first flag football practice of the season, and I got to see my crew — the moms whose kids play football and flag football with my younger son, Cuyler. We sat on the sidelines, watching and raving about each others’ boys…

Where’d Bryan’s baby fat go?
Look at the size of James’s feet!
My God, Michael is even more handsome. Has Joy put bars on his bedroom windows yet?

And of course they asked me the same questions they’ve asked since Stu died…

How are you?
How are the boys?
You think you’ll stay?

Almost twelve months into our “new normal,” with the fatigue and its lovely partners panic, anxiety, and sleeplessness, finally starting to lift, I can honestly say…

I’m good.
My boys are getting better.
And you bet we are.

We’ve suffered a catastrophic loss. There’s no way we’re leaving all this love.

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Stirring up trouble. Just one of my many talents.

My new piece on the Huffington Post, “The Morning I Removed the Rings,” is raising a bit of a ruckus. As I write this there are just about 117 comments and I’d love yours. Feel free to leave it here or on the Huffington Post site. Thanks!

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