Susan Hattie Steinsapir
Susan was a lawyer in Sacramento, California. One day, I showed her the Internet. She was captivated by it at once. This was way back in the very first days of the web: back when everyone's email address was their first name, when Yahoo was just two kids in a Stanford dorm room and one wrote to them personally to get a link and Bill Gates didn't even know there was such a thing as the web.
I was building web sites for companies, so I made a page for Susan, where she began to post the recipes that she wrote. She also posted photos of our cats. Susan was always delighted to watch her visitor hit count grow every month. It also pleased her that her hit count was ten times as much as mine. Even the cats had more hits than me.
Susan was an expert at food. She was a better cook than most chefs. She was part of the California crowd of foodies. We'd often drive for hours, to look up an heirloom lettuce or a roadside restaurant that specialized in something served nowhere else in the world. In every city, we'd call up the local newspaper's food editor and for the next few days try the specialties. Susan also developed many of her own recipes.
Susan's Last Month
Susan and I were married in 1992. In 1994, she developed heart failure. She had been healthy and active; it was just one of those random things. In the beginning of January 1996, Susan went to UCLA for a heart transplant. Regrettably, she didn't survive the transplant. Susan and I wrote e-mails from her bedside to her friends and co-workers. Here are some fifty-four e-mails.