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 .
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 opening ceremony for Relay for Life San Bruno will be at 10 a.m. on the football field. The event will last until 10 a.m. Sunday.