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Posted 2016-06-24T18:27:47Z

a story in honor of my mom and to the glory of God

Once there was a clever and curious girl, a daughter of the King.  She was fortunate to grow up in old house in Trenton New Jersey with 2 staircases and lots of siblings.

As she grew, the girl discovered that her life was much better when she choose to believe the best about people and situations.  So she became relentlessly optimistic and looked forward to each new day. 

It also became clear to the girl that launching new projects and following through with ideas led to good and unexpected experiences.  So when she and her siblings decided to dig a swimming hole in their back yard and ended up with a huge puddle of mud, this was a success. 


The girl loved to learn and loved God so headed off to Wheaton College in order to be fully prepared for what life had to offer her.  While there, she met a handsome young man who thought she was delightful.  Soon they realized that days together were better than days apart and promised each other before God that from that moment forward they would share life, both the good days and the hard days. 

The young couple realized that they would gather treasures in life but agreed that they would be open to whatever kind of riches came their way.  One of the first to arrive was the beautiful treasure of true love.  The kind of love that is endlessly supportive, that thinks of the other before self, that forgives without being asked and is delighted when the other succeeds.  This was a helpful treasure in the years of apartments with shared bathrooms, Christmas’s with a single small present and Sunday dinners of scrambled eggs and toast.

Another treasure they gathered early on was hope.  The couple were eager to share their love with a baby but it proved to be an unexpected challenge.  As the years past there was little to hold onto except hope.  But hold on they did, until 9 years later they brought home a baby girl from Children’s home in Pittsburg to be followed less than 2 years later by a son born to them both.  This treasure of hope was especially precious and they turned to it again and again over the years when unexpected challenges arose.


A dynamic treasure added to their stash and developed over time was the treasure of discovery.   It was born out of moves all over the country, projects like starting a preschool, initiating Bible studies and learning groups, launching childrens & teen programs, organizing conferences, building a treehouse, trips around the world that included history and culture and development along with an unlimited number of efforts that began with the words “let’s just try it.”  The woman understood the power of these words and used them as much as she could.  She found them quite helpful when their wonderful church denomination, the Christian & Missionary Alliance moved to Colorado Springs.  While driving with a real estate agent she spotted a ridge with an unparalleled view of the mountains but was told there was nothing available.  She said those special words “let’s just try it” and a year or so later she was sitting on the deck of her newly built home, right on top of that ridge enjoying that amazing view.

They ended up adding many treasures as they walked and sometime ran through life together.  Another helpful treasure that became worn with their repeated use was kindness.  They loved people and were enormously thankful to have encountered so many special ones over the years.  They worked to always be kind, to help and support and encourage and give of themselves.  This treasure made them rich with friends all over the world and they considered themselves so blessed! 

Until one day an evil sickness came.  It came quietly and without fanfare but when it became known, it changed everything.  For 5 months, it worked to steal the life from the woman as her beloved watched and helped and cooked and loved and held her hand.  The beautiful and brave woman understood that her future on earth had been stolen.  But her spirit remained strong and each day she chose to smile.  In the place of darkness, she chose to be light.  In the face of despair, she chose joy. 

Until one day, she was gone.  And her beloved was stricken and the treasures they had gathered seemed invisible.  His greatest loss had left him overcome with grief so real it seemed to shatter his very bones.  But with tear stained eyes he reached once again into their box of treasures and pulled out a small one that glowed like the sun from the very bottom.  It was the treasure of eternal life and as he held it in his hand he felt great comfort.  His dear one, his partner and best friend of 57 years had been a daughter of the King, the maker of heaven and earth and like all God’s children her death was both and end an a beginning. 

*shared at the Memorial Service on June 20

*written by Marian and Jim's favorite daughter, Lynn


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Comments (8)

  • Dana Rose
    Dana Rose

    A beautiful life; a beautiful story of love; a beautiful daughter. Love and prayers. For His Sake. Amen

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Pamela Levy
    Pamela Levy

    Oh Lynn, what a tribute!!!!! Could not have been more beautifully done, and any more befitting, for the wonderful person your mom was. In so many ways, she reminded me of my own mom, a true woman of God, whose children rise up and call her blessed. Maybe that was one of the reasons I loved your mom so.!! We are blessed. My prayer for you and your family, is that as you remember the legacy Marian left behind, you will be uplifted and find comfort and peace, coupled with the blessed assurance, that you will meet again. Love and prayers to you all. Pam

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Kate Sullivan
    Kate Sullivan

    Thank you for posting that, Lynn. I was thinking of it as I drove to visit my mother today. Marian's "let's just try" statement is very appropriate to my mother at this time as she deals with increasing confusion. And as I get to know this new version of my mother. I have been a big fan of both your parents since I moved to Shell Point. It was so much fun working with Marian in the last SPOT stage production as we both tried to be Italian grandmothers. All our hard work paid off because we could hear your dad laughing out loud often during the play. He took great delight in seeing his wife transformed into a meddling grandma. All your family remains in my prayers as you adjust to your new normal.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Mary Fountain
    Mary Fountain

    It was wonderful to hear the beautiful tribute given in honor of your mother but now to be able to read the description is an added blessing for those of us with impaired hearing and declining memory capacity. How we miss her in so many ways....but have the assurance that our God has another choice saint in His heavenly kingdom. We will never forget that radiant smile that gave witness to the love of her Savior, Jesus! May His peace and love surround you each day.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Norma Wheeland
    Norma Wheeland

    Thank you for posting this wonderful tribute to your mom for those of us who wanted to attend the memorial service, but could not. We had the utmost respect for your mom. She was truly a great Godly lady! And know, that even though we really didn't get to know you well personally, we kind of did through your mom. She thought the world of you and of all her family. Please know we continue to pray for your dad and for your family. You did an exceptional job of letting us know how to pray. Thank you!!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Janet Howard
    Janet Howard

    Lynn, I have just read to Dave your tribute as we were out of town and unable to be at the special celebration of your mom's life. I've never read such a beautifully worded tribute. I told your dad in prayer meeting tonight how moved I was by the writing. He added that as you read it, you glowed. How I miss your mom. Her choir robe, number 19, hangs right next to mine in the choir room with the note attached that it has just been washed. And she always sat right in front of me in choir. How I admired her beautiful hair, but even more so, her positive outlook on life. She and I have been good friends over the years, prayed together for our teenage children, planned programs together, even sang in a trio together at field conference in Indonesia. May memories and words of wisdom from your mom continue to enrich your life in the years to come. Love to you, Janet

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Beth Drummond
    Beth Drummond

    Such a beautiful remembrance! Thank you for sharing these memories with all of us. You are blessed to have had such a mother. Beth and Rick Drummond

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Jim and Judy Mayer
    Jim and Judy Mayer

    It is wonderful today to find your tribute Lynn, as we were up north and did not hear your reading. What a blessing to have it written for us now. Simply elegant and so true, it perfectly fit your beautiful mother. I have been praying for all the people she led to Christ , especially through Alpha, that they will hold fast to the wonderful teaching and encouragement she gave. Here we are sad but with GREAT hope because of our Savior. She left us with the fragrance of her unique and happy life.

    4 years ago · Reply