Sunday, July 19, 2009

Clay Nation Celebrates Aiken Fan

CLAY FRIEND REMEMBERED -- Graphic by Ashes, photo by xxx4clay.

A Legacy of Memories

Clay Nation Honors xxx4clay

The Clay Aiken Nation today misses the joyful, dynamic presence of good friend and fan extraordinaire Susan Guinn/xxx4clay, who lost her battle with cancer late Friday night.

Uniquely witty and creative, she was a gifted writer, videographer, and photographer, freely sharing concert clack and befriending countless fans who crossed her path, both in person and in the Cyber universe.

A quiet, reserved lady who possessed an outrageous sense of humor, Susan enjoyed laughing and making others laugh. Evidence of her escapades, epistles, and penchant for organizing projects live on in Clayversity board archives and in the online wake that took place in the main thread Saturday.

Graphic by AmazingCA, photos by xxx4clay

Besides her family, friends, cats Holmes and Halo, Susan especially loved Clay Aiken and the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to new understanding
with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile,
leave footprints on our hearts
and we are never, ever the same.

Saturday's shared grief in Clay Land gradually evolved into a celebration of the legacy of memories this special friend leaves behind.

What Susan has left us is the gift of love, laughter and joy. She was a Clay fan for the joy of it all, and she never got caught up in the angst. She adored those who made her laugh, and Clay did that often. Her avi was "Clay makes me smile..... always." -- Brightstar

We will miss you, girlfriend. Hope those angel wings fit well because I have a feeling your halo is going to be a little crooked. -- clayzedover (paraphrased)

The night before she went into the hospital for her first surgery, the day after she got home from the Gala, she said, "The Gala is the all-time most special favorite thing I have ever done in my whole life. I am so blessed to have been there." -- gareem

Susan is no doubt distilling her own brand of humor in heaven, listening to her favorite Singer Man, and organizing blue and gold pompoms for a fall pep rally.

I never missed a football or basketball game cheering for her beloved Mountaineers. In the final months when she was near a laptop, we "watched" games together. If West Virginia was not telecast in my area, I pulled up an ESPN page to follow the game.

We probably exchanged 10 emails per contest -- after good plays, bad calls, victories, and defeats. When the Mountaineers failed to make the NCAA finals, Susan helped cheer the Carolina Tar Heels through to this spring's national basketball championship.

Always the Encourger and Enabler

My friend Aspiegirl met xxx4clay when she posted in her OFC blog a few years ago. Once Susan knew Aspie was a "backsliding" artist, she never ceased encouraging her to draw Clay. One of the remarkable results has been the "All Is Well" cover of Clay.

Clickable by Aspiegirl

The West Virginian bid on one of two Aspiegirl prints at the 2008 Bubel/Aiken Foundation Gala, the last event she was able to attend. Aspie heard about this, tried unsuccessfully to learn which print, finally redrew and framed both for Susan.

Aspiegirl's name has become synonymous with outstanding CA montages, which Susan also encouraged. She introduced my friend to the music of Eva Cassidy, specifically requesting I Know You By Heart.

I Know You By Heart - Montage by Aspiegirl

Peace to the Clay Nation. We are so blessed for having known Susan. You are invited to share your special remembrances of xxx4clay in the comments. I imagine she would be honored if we are also laughing and sharing photos, videos, the VOX, banter, her love for Clay Aiken, and concern for others.

I Will Remember You
Montage by molino79

I Will Remember You is a memorial montage by molino79 featuring a collection of Susan's photo and video clack, poem, the lovely Sarah McLachlan song, and special graphic by Ashes that closes the blog. You can download the montage with the Sendspace link and view in a larger player.

Below are clickables of the graphics by Ashes, 1, 4, and AmazingCA, 2, 3.

Undoubtedly, our friend greeted an unsuspecting gate keeper in her own inimitable style ...



In Memory of Susan

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CCOL4HIM said...

Aww, so sorry that the Clay Nation has had another citizen pass on.So sorry that your friend has passed away. Take care & God bless. Love always, Cynthia

Ashes said...

A truly beautiful memorial blog for xxx4clay-Susan. She will be truly missed by all.
Thank you Caro.

SueReu said...

*sniff* Beautiful blog Caro. Thank you for the lovely and moving tribute to Susan/xxx4clay

MissSally said...

I was deeply honored to know Susan and call her my friend. There never was, and never will be such a one as she.

As my tears flow, I imagine her in heaven laughing as she blows "BB" bubbles back down at me.

May God bless her as she has blessed our lives.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute to Susan, [b]Caro[/b]. I'm sure she treasured the times you and she spent cheering on the WVM together.

Beautiful graphics, poems, and comments in your blog.Thanks to all who created them.

I am very sad today, but it's comforts me to know our dear Susan is free from pain and suffering and is probably handing out tiaras and WVM pom poms in heaven.


katy said...

Susan/xxx4clay was a wonderful fan and person. She loved Clay and everything he did, unconditionally. I only met her in person once, but feel blessed that I had that opportunity.
Rest well, dear xxx.

LovesClaysVoice said...

What a lovely tribute to xxx4Clay! My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family at this time.

T said...

A very beautiful tribute blog for xxx4clay - Susan. Although I haven't met her, I knew her screen name from CV. I could tell that she was one of the most loyal, loving & caring Clay fan.

The pain will always be there when you lose someone. Even though we haven't met, I could tell that she had a very kind soul. xxx4clay (Susan), may you rest in peace! You will be missed by many. My sincerest sympathy & prayers for her family, relatives & friends.

Thanks so much Caro! I'm sure Susan is smiling now.

Allegra said...

What a beautiful blog as a tribute to Susan. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Susan was such a special person, she made the world better while she was here. Too bad this can't be said of everyone. I wish there were many more like her.

Anonymous said...

Susan was an absolute treasure in the Clay fandom. She will be missed, but I know she will always have a front row seat when Clay takes the stage.

Caro, thank you for a lovely tribute to our friend.


musicfan said...

Caro.....this is a beautiful tribute. I did not know this lovely lady, but it sounds like I missed out!!

Thank you for sharing your memories of this wonderful person with us.

I am sure she is at peace and I hope that her family is too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this beautiful blog.
The ClayNation will miss her wit and her kindness and her love for Clay Aiken.
RIP Susan

marianhookailo said...

I was quite moved by your beautiful memorial
Although I did not know Susan, it seems that she
indeed was loved by many.

I pray she somehow knows how much she is loved and
how many appreciated her, her love for Clay and her


Martigyrl said...

This was the most beautiful tribute to a Clay fan, I've ever read. Susan will indeed be greatly missed.
Thanks Carolyn, for the wonderful blog.

Sandy said...

I never knew Susan/xxx4Clay on a personal note, but knew of her through her beautiful clack and wonderful sense of humor in her posts on the boards. It is through her wonderful pictures that I know the memories of her will last forever.
Susan is smiling down at you for this loving tribute to her and I am sure she is so proud to have shared a friendship with you!



fgs said...

Wonderful blog in remembrance of a wonderful fan. I remember her humorous stories at CV which usually started something like, "I've been thinking..." and you knew something funny was coming. Susan is now in a more peaceful place, but she will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I'm deeply saddened by the passing away of Susan/xxx4Clay. Going thru this blog, I can say that Susan/xxx4Clay is a fine, happy to be with person.
My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.
Thanks Caro, you are a true friend.

Rejenne said...

When I heard the news, I could feel my heart just squished by huge hands. All Clay fans, whether I know them by heart or not, made a great impact on me. And that impact will stay with me forever. And I think that that was also what Susan think.

Each of us may have varied individualities and different personalities but we share the same smile, laugh, sorrow, and heartache. My condolences to the friends and family of Susan.


P.S. Susan, I hope I have known you for a longer time.


Anonymous said...

I didn't know Susan, but her love for Clay makes me some closeness to her. She would be honored and thrilled that her friends remembered her in this way. Thanks, Caro, for this wonderful tribute to her. Lois

Anonymous said...

Clay Aiken has many wonderful fans. This was a beautiful blog for a beautiful lady. I wish Clay Aiken could have known her.

copingincalifornia said...

Beautiful blog Caro.

chel4clay said...

What a beautiful tribute to what was a very special lady. I didn't get to know her and I feel like I missed someone special. She's at peace now and probably has the heavens full of laughter. Peace to those that knew her and peace to you xxx4Clay.

lulu said...

Awoohoo!!! I'll lead off with this from a big Clay Aiken fan we lost. We will miss xxx4clay so much.

anaturegirl said...

xxx4clay/Susan will be missed in the Clay Nation, but she leaves behind wonderful clack that showed her love for Clay Aiken. Thank you Caro, for this lovely blog today.

Truth Rules said...

Caro! Absolutely beautiful blog.

Anonymous said...

No doubt about it, Clay Aiken fans are the best.

Aspiegirl44 said...

Thank you for such a beautiful blog in memory of Susan. She was such a beatiful person who made me laugh. She had a way to know how to keep us all smiling even through hard times. I will miss her so much.

She taught me how to draw again too. :)



Anonymous said...

Beautiful Caro.

Sue said...

Beautiful memorial for a special lady.

It still makes me smile to think about Clay calling her when she was in the hospital.

Marty said...

This was sad but wonderful. Susan must have been a great lady.

Thank you for this wonderful post!!

katy said...

We will all miss Susan, xxx4Clay. Hope she's listening to some Clay Aiken music. He brought her so much joy.

Ashes said...

Thanks again, Caro, for this beautiful heartwarming blog for Susan. Thanks too, for posting both versions of my graphic.

PaulaBear said...

I never met Susan, but your wonderful tribute to her makes me wish I had. What a great Clay Aiken fan she was and an amazing friend to others!

Anonymous said...

Hey all... This is Susan's youngest son, Scott. I just wanted to thank you all so much for all of the cards, flowers, and phone calls over the past several months. They really helped lift my mom's spirts during a tough time. Thanks again.

Leslie said...

I wish I had known Susan.....what a gift she was to everyone.

clayitagain said...

What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful Clay fan...

Rest in peace Susan. My thoughts and prayers to out to you and your family.


Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute to a very special lady....
Thank you.


jbc4clay said...

Your blog is such a wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing. My thoughts are with the family and her wonderful friends.

katy said...

Scott, thank you for your post and we all express our condolences, but I want to celebrate her life which gave so many of us laughter and love. Thanks for lending us your mom for a little bit. I have a feeling she's smiling down at us still.

gerra said...

I did not know xxx4Clay but from all accounts she was a wonderful person and a great fan. What a beautiful tribute to her.

Anonymous said...

Caro....what a beautiful tribute to our dear friend Susan. I will miss her deeply and treasure the time we had.


Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

What a beautiful tribute to Susan.....although I did not know her, I feel as though I did. All through her wonderful "clack"....what a positive Clay Fan she was.

My Thoughts and Prayers so out to her many friends and family.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this very special blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for adding the sendspace to I Will Remember You. It is the most beautiful and heart wrenching montage I have ever seen.

ImGranny said...

What a wonderful tribute to xxx4clay - Susan. I never met her, but I always looked forward to reading her posts on CV. She had me laughing out loud many times! She will truly be missed.

T said...

What a beautiful & very touching montage in memory of xxx4clay (Susan). I couldn't help the tears.

Anonymous said...

Caro, "I Will Remember You" is an amazing Tribute to Susan. I hope her family sees it.

She will be missed.......


SueReu said...

thanks for the sendspace Caro :) and again, thank you for the touching tribute to an amazing lady

tennie0121 said...

Belated condolences to the CLAY NATION & SUSANS FAMILY ON HER PASSING.My prayers go out to you all. From what I've read, she was a true friend & wonderful person.

Linda said...

A lovely tribute to a lovely lady. Susan will be missed but her laughter will always hang around.