He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him
along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first
in the line of humanity he restored. We see the
original and intended shape of our lives there in him.
After God made that decision of what his children should be like,
he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called
them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself.
And then, after getting them established,
gloriously completing what he had begun.
Romans 8:29-30 (MSG)
Nurse, wife, mom, grandma, friend, family member, and so much more —
Marilyn nurtured her patients lovingly caring for the whole person, not just the illness, blending humor with healing. Some days she rollerskated through the halls of the nursing home where she worked and often wore a green and white polka dotted hat. Her patients knew they were more than just cared for; they were loved by this beautiful woman.
Her husband and children were equally well nurtured and loved by hands that helped her pastor husband in the churches he served, that baked bread and cookies to feed her family and the community (as well as the rest of us!), that played games and held books to read, that showed her children by example that they could do anything they set their minds to do, that shared her gift of music on the guitar and with her voice.
When grandchildren arrived, Marilyn made certain to be there before or as soon after that child came into the family as possible. She loved them equally and never once, to my knowledge, showed any difference between them. They too were blessed by the many gifts she had shared with their parents. And today it shows.
Marilyn gifted her community with her theatrical and musical skills, her community spirit and giving nature, and in return she was loved by all who came to know her.
When Alzheimer’s decided to take her into its grip in the late 1990s, we all began to lose someone who had impacted each of our lives in uniquely individual ways. It was heartbreaking to see her fading away before our eyes.
But she left us a legacy to honor and her life and legacy was well celebrated by her children and her grandchildren, who led us in the service they planned themselves. Marilyn was celebrated with the singing of her favorite music — hymns, Broadway tunes, and yes, the Boss was there — Mr. Springsteen’s music rang the rafters in the church. It was just the way Marilyn would have wanted it, and we believe we sensed her there tapping her foot and snapping her fingers, urging us to step up and take part! That was her mantra — always take part!
Readings were interspersed and the verses above are from one of the Scripture readings. It so clearly speaks to who Marilyn is, was and will forever be in our hearts. Marilyn lives on in a much better place, and I’m certain Heaven is a better place for her having arrived there!
Thanks be to God for our dear Marilyn!