She planned special “forever” gifts for her family: Scrapbooks for her three children — large, leatherbound books with their names embossed in gold on the front and their lives catalogued inside. She had necklaces designed for the most precious women in her life — her daughter Marina, 15, her mother, Tee, her sister, Stephanie, and her best friend, Nancy. The necklaces feature two entwined circles with their names and Susan’s name.
She had personal gifts made for John and her father, Tom, too.
And when they asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she asked for a ring, an heirloom that could be passed to Marina or the fiancee of one of her two sons some day.
This holiday season, Susan and John gave generous gifts to causes dear to their hearts: The Legal Aid Society, ALS research, and a $10,000 check to The Post’s holiday campaign for needy neighbors, Season to Share.
“It was my privilege to once write ‘Season to Share’ stories, and now my privilege to make this gift,” Susan wrote in the card with their check. “I thank the journalists and editors who brought such giving to fore.”
Through these tangible gifts and her intangible spirit, Susan Spencer-Wendel is making sure her last chapter lasts.
“Mine is a story of twinning good and bad fortunes, which I find profound meaning in,” she wrote.
“I read every day a passage about joy and sorrow from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. It is about how ‘the deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.’
“‘Is not the cup which holds your wine the very cup burned in the potter’s oven?’
“I believe this. That in the long trajectory of my family’s lives, a deep sorrow now will open worlds of feeling for them in the future.
“This comforts me, brings me great peace.
“And the ability to delight in today and today alone.”