This week would have been Paul and Sue Garrison's 40th wedding anniversary. Instead, Sue and her team will be participating in Relay for Life to honor the memory of her husband, who recently passed away.
The article below was written by Martin Ricard in April of 2012. With Relay for Life approaching, it's important to highlight it again. See 2013 Relay for Life info at the bottom of this page.
Every year that they were married, Paul and Sue Garrison would take a short trip somewhere, go out for a romantic dinner and enjoy each other’s company for their wedding anniversary.
This year will be the first year in decades that won’t happen.
Paul passed away in January from liver cancer.
Today would have been Paul and Sue’s 40th anniversary, and every day since Paul has been gone Sue has wished that he could have been here for that milestone. But it will still be special—although melancholy as well—as Sue plans to honor her husband’s memory by participating in San Bruno’s Relay for Life.
Sue, her two daughters and their friends will be one of the many teams taking part in the 24-hour event at Capuchino High that aims to raise awareness about cancer and raise money to fight all forms of the disease.
“This will be an emotional day,” said Sue, a Millbrae resident. “But this is the best way that I can honor him. I’m just lucky that all of these people are supporting me.”
It has still taken time for Sue to deal with the fact that her husband is no longer by her side.
But his memory is alive with her everyday.
Paul was a butcher for 40 years—most recently at Draeger's in San Mateo—and took pride in his work. He also loved to golf and go fishing. But what made their marriage so special was how they did everything together, Sue said.
“We especially liked to garden together,” she said. “He planted the vegetables. I planted the flowers.”
When Paul was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and later found out that he was bumped off a list for a liver transplant, their family was devastated.
But Paul was brave until the very end, Sue said, and that gives her hope to continue the fight against cancer today.
“For people still fighting, I would say, ‘Don’t give up, do your research and ask a lot of questions,” she said.
For today’s event, Sue and her team, aptly called “In Paul’s Memory,” will be wearing special badges with a photo of Paul on the front. On the back, it will say “Relay for Life” and “April 28,” the date of their anniversary.
They’ll be selling baked goods and glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets.
That will be her way, she said, of honoring her hero: Paul.
“The best thing I can do is to just make him proud of me,” she said.
The 2013 Relay For Life San Bruno Events:
Tuesday January 29th 5:30 - 9:00 pm - Kick Off Party - San Bruno Recreation Center - City Park - Special Inspirational Speaker approximately 7:00 PM. FREE FOOD; FREE Team Forming Information; FREE Sponsorship Forms; FREE Answers
Saturday April 27th - 10 AM - Capuchino High School Athletic Field - Start of the 24 hour event
Sunday April 28th - 10 AM - Capuchino High School Athletic Field - Closing Ceremonies