Susan grew up in Europe, Florida, and Illinois. Her history is chronicled in the manuscript of The Twain Shall Meet, but there is more to her background and personality. As a child, she was painfully shy, but her inhibitions vanished when she stepped onto a stage. A widow with three children and several grandchildren, she has written poetry most of her life but this is her first book. She graduated from Stetson University in 1969 with a B.A. in Speech and Education. Susan recently returned to the stage, and continues to promote music for children by serving on the board of a youth orchestra. When she’s not seeking a standing ovation, she enjoys spending time with her children, grandchildren, and a wealth of friends. She swims, bikes, and is a voracious traveler. Picture with her is her cousin, Eileen Lucia, who raised Susan in Chicago after her father died and was related to the Lucia-Clemens family, key to Susan finding her mother.
One day in Chicago when Susan was about eight years old and reading Tom Sawyer, her cousin Eileen said, "We're related to him you know." Susan got very excited because she thought Eileen meant they were related to Tom Sawyer. Upon being given the proper explanation, disappointed Susan promptly forgot all about it until her teenage years.
That's when she started searching for both her relationship to Twain and for her biological mother. She now lives in Greenville, SC and has three children and several grandchildren. She is a classical music therapist working with autistic children. Susan has written poetry all her life and is in the middle of writing her second book. The poem about Nina below, came to her in a dream.
Under the down I was fast asleep
When slowly I became aware
That the window was open
T'was a chill in the air
Then I saw her, dressed in white
Leaning down to whisper in my ear
She brushed my face with a kiss,
Sweet breath and cashmere
“Susie, sweetheart, my beautiful girl
Wake up, wake up for tonight we must play
We’ll ride in the moonlight
Before break of day”
Lifting me up, to the window we went
Where stood a horse, white as her cape
Suddenly we were out in the snow
Upon his back we made our escape.
We flew through the forest
The wind in my face
Her cape wrapped around me
I was In Nina’s embrace.
We rode and we rode
Through the dark snowy night
I felt warm and loved
Knew it was my birthright
In the morning I woke
In my same little bed
Then remembered the night
With tears yet unshed
What is real what is not
I really don’t know
The best night of my life
Was my mother and snow.
Susan Madeline Bailey
January 16, 2015