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"CHW" 2003 Obituary


CHWI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-02 published
By Anria LOUBSER, Wednesday, July 2, 2002 - page A18
Wife, mother, friend, reporter.
Born August 5, 1965, in Hamilton, Ontario Died April 28 in Hamilton, of breast cancer, aged 59.
Bright, wacky, fun-loving and fiery of temperament, Susan Westmoreland brought abundant energy to everything she did and could put a positive, often humorous, spin on just about anything. Even cancer. "Pick up some lottery tickets, sweetie - we lost the cancer lottery and someone owes us big time!" (Don't think she was flippant. She was plucky and very determined to have a good time.)
Sue was 5-foot-8 but, through a combination of heels and personality, seemed six feet tall.
Her intelligence, sociability, sharp wit and palpable integrity could make her seem intimidating at first. She was competitive in the best sense of the word and didn't readily cut slack for herself or others. Still, those close to her got to hear and see the doubts, fears and vulnerabilities that made her adorable.
Friends and family (both human and furry) were at the heart of Sue's world.
She loved the ritual of getting together and had a way of making moments memorable by doing something special, creating a tradition or saving a memento. Sue was a devoted, attentive friend; she gave the best of her enthusiasm to others.
Sue brought all her gifts for Friendship to bear in her marriage to Jon MAGIDSOHN.
Whether you knew them as "SueandJon" or "JonandSue," you knew they shared many interests and had a deep love for and loyalty to one another, but always with an awareness of and deference to each other's autonomy.
Sue had a very deliberate way of envisioning, planning and making everything and anything happen, from decorating her home to a radical career change.
Vision and ambition drove Sue to find work that she loved. After a degree in political science, a year in France, four years working on Parliament Hill and four as an actor, Sue undertook the broadcast journalism program at Ryerson University, graduating with honours in 1998.
Susan was a born video-journalist. Every aspect of the job drew on her strengths and challenged her to use them in new ways. In 1999, she and Jon moved to Windsor, Ontario, where she had landed a television-news reporter job at CHWI. She was exhilarated by the demands of her job and became involved in the community.
Devoted to family and Friends in the Toronto area and missing the big city life, Sue and Jon moved back to Toronto in January, 2002, when Sue was hired as an arts reporter for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio.
Sue was almost defiant in the face of the diagnosis she was given a year ago. She was four months pregnant. After agonizing deliberation, she and Jon chose to have a course of chemotherapy that was. as far as research could attest, safe for pregnant women. It was very, very difficult for her to go for those treatments, but she went and Jon read her Dr. Seuss and The Stinky Cheese Man while the intravenous dripped. Sue took a leave from work, kept up her social calendar and enjoyed the nesting phase of expectant parenthood. She had a vision of her and Jon's life as parents and kept her eyes resolutely "on the prize."
Sue gave birth to Myles Day on Oct.16, 2002, and declared (with gusto) that she was taking a little holiday from cancer. Then, later, her voice cracked as she talked about just wanting to be a healthy mom. The commonplace feelings of self-doubt and anxiety experienced by new parents were painfully magnified for her.
Sue was admitted to hospital April 24; as the pain ebbed away, her tenacity finally did, too. Her sparkly aura and mega-watt smile are indelibly in our hearts.
Anna is a friend of Sue. Jon MAGISDSOHN, Sue's husband, contributed to this essay.

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