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Dear Suz…

Note: My sister Suz Montgomery is suffering with–short of a miracle–the end-stage of cancer. I understand that she is at a point where she may not understand this message, but I am sending it anyway, for her, and with the hope that any lessons learned here can help the reader too.

If Suz is unable to hear this message, I hope that someone reads it to her. Perhaps my niece Lisa can. I understand Lisa has essentially put her life on hold to care for her mother at this time. This is so admirable. Thank you, Lisa!

Suz is well known in the Ventura, California area as a community activist, senior advocate, and media personality. A local paper, the VC (Ventura County) Reporter, just published a story about her, based on a recent in-person interview. See the report HERE.

I live across the country from Suz, and due to a political spat during the last election (I supported Trump, Suz can’t stand him!), we have had very little communication over the past year or so. Our conversations about politics were fairly brief, as I recall, and respectful. They weren’t arguments. However, I did get into a brief email tussle with her husband John that I wish I had followed up better.

And at this point, due to Suz’s condition and perhaps the residue of unpleasantness from our past tangle, having a telephone call doesn’t appear likely. Plus, frankly I don’t know that I’d be able to say all that I wish to. I need to say some things publicly too, as I hope they will be useful to the reader.

Politics has become a form of war, which both Suz and I understand. We are both “warriors” for our respective positions. Americans are so divided today, and we see things through completely different lenses. But it reminds me of the Bible admonition to “hate the sin, but love the sinner.”

We tend to see our political opponents as irredeemable sinners.

I’ve never hated my sister, but I did get a bit too dug in during the political “war.” I do regret that.

You may be able to relate to this, as we all have differences with family members.

And now, let me address Suz directly…

Dear Suz,

I miss talking with you. I miss hearing the family updates. I regret separating myself from you and others in the family because of our differences. I did not handle that with maturity. Separation was the easy way out.

I pray for you, and won’t pretend that I know what you’re going through.

We’re really not all that different, you and me. Both rebels. Both fighters. We just fight for different things.

I want to tell you how much I appreciated you watching out for me when I was growing up. I don’t think I ever told you that.

I know the shock of losing your father at a young age shaped your life, and that taking on a step-father (my dad) was undoubtedly quite tough for you. And I know that you held some things against my dad, and perhaps our mother too for not sticking up for you. We had planned on meeting to discuss this, and honestly, I don’t know what happened, but for some reason we never did.

Whatever your step-dad may have done, I hope that you have forgiven him. We’ve talked about this before, and you said you have. I don’t want to doubt you, but sometimes there are things we don’t see. I just want to encourage you to let all judgments go if you haven’t yet, so that you can be at peace.

One reason I bring this up today, is that in the VC Reporter article (link above), you told the reporter, “Sometimes I think about how much easier it would have been if I hadn’t been such an angry woman; it’s what fuels me.” 

Believe me, I understand that anger and the war is not completely over in my own soul, yet slowly I am letting go of judgment against those who have hurt me. I hope that you have let the anger go.

Suz, you’ve prided yourself on having a memory like an elephant. I don’t know if you used that phrase, but you get the idea 🙂 . It has served you well in the sense of knowing so much of our family history. I don’t think anyone knows as much of our family history as you. But a strong memory can be a curse too, when many of our memories involve traumas.

We are encouraged so much to remember–and yet forgetting can be a true blessing!

Suz, I know that you have little time left on this earth, unless God chooses to do a miracle, which I always believe is possible. If you do have to go, I will remember all that is good in you, and forget the rest! I know that you have had a great impact on so many, particularly seniors. Your relationship was not so great with your mother and stepdad, and perhaps this was a way that you felt you could make amends.

Your example will cause me to be more effective in every area of my life, and I am grateful for that. “Effective” is your middle name!

Your family and community well appreciate your hard work and tenacity on their behalf, and are also grateful.

And believe me, I agree that our political leaders mostly care about money and power–no matter their political party. I will do all I can to hold them to caring about the People again. That’s a promise.

I love you (as you always said to me), your brother…


Patrick Rooney is the Founder of He communicates clearly and fearlessly during perilous times about natural health, success, and freedom. To reach Patrick, email him at [email protected].

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10 thoughts on “Dear Suz…”

  1. Issues with family, I believe, are the most difficult row to hoe , simply because they have had so much time to gestate. We all have our Own paths and The challenge is to respect the sovereign right of each individual to make his own choices, if we cannot respect the choices themselves. My sisters and I have had had different paths but but we seem to understand that in order to maintain any kind of relationship we have to allow for our differences
    I do pray that you can reconcile to whatever extent that is possible, while it is still possible. ? But after you’ve said and done everything you can, then all you can do is put it in God’s hands and let it go. Then you will be at peace whatever the outcome. Sounds like a good start.

    1. Thank you, Rose, good advice all around. And I like what you said, The challenge is to respect the sovereign right of each individual to make his own choices, if we cannot respect the choices themselves.” Hits the nail…

  2. Patrick,

    I’m sorry to hear about the divide in your family and the fight your sister is battling with cancer. Sadly, I think this type of division between family (and friends) is more common today and one that exists in my own family.

    I hope your sister hears your words and it lessens the turmoil these divisions create for all involved.

    1. Thank you, Cindie, I appreciate that and understand. Division is inevitable, even Jesus said as much. But we must learn ro separate the sin from the sinner, lest we become the sinner.

  3. Patrick,
    It’s sad how politics has divided Americans and especially families. Those who gain money and position exploit our basic good intentions and harness us and empower themselves.


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