The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

March 14, 2013

Dying writer pens memoir for her family



She spends her days in a specially built “Chickadee” hut in the yard where she is just now reaching the pinnacle of her writing career, but well aware that time is very limited, her mother-in-law said.

The entire family of 40 spent the holidays together and Susan writes on her Facebook page that she thinks it will be the last holiday they spend together. She asked for rings for Christmas that she could pass on to her daughters.

Her husband, once a pharmaceutical sales representative, quit his job to care for her.

A book advance of $2.3 million, along with another couple million in movie rights have secured her family’s financial future, but “there was so much more Susan wanted to say. She wanted to make memories for her family because she knew she wouldn’t be around,” Mrs. Wendel said.

Wendel has said he is considering going back to school after Susan’s death to become a physician’s assistant and his wife has written “Good! That makes me happy!”

She also writes in the book that her husband told her upon learning of her diagnosis “the least I can do for you is everything.”

She took her teenage daughter, Marina, bridal shopping in New York City, because she knew she wouldn’t be around for the day her daughter walked down the aisle.

She writes in the book that she wanted “her to remember the day we shopped for dresses. I wanted to see her in a wedding gown. And for her to remember that I was happy and smiling.”

She also traveled to California recently became reunited with her birth mother, and to Cyprus, the home country of the birth father she never knew, Mrs. Wendel said.

Her message to her family is not to grieve, Mrs. Wendel said.

“She told John she expects him to marry again, to find love and find someone who will run triathlons with him,” Mrs. Wendel said.

The book and her story has been chronicled on NPR, Today, and numerous media outlets.

The author, and her husband, will be at book signings in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Saturday, where she will thumbprint copies to autograph books.

Text Only
Local News
  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014