“She never met a stranger,” as the saying goes. That’s what everybody said about Marion. Joy radiated from her heart to her smile whenever she met a friend or a new face. Complimentary, encouraging words flowed from the rapturous soul and spirit of the elegant, charming Marion. She could be joyful and friendly as she had Jesus in her heart. This she would often boldly express with conviction. Marion’s awesome, outgoing personality amazed all for her limitations in life were contrary to her exuberance.
With thick auburn hair and ebony eyes, she was an attractive, vibrant teen, whose bedroom was her private room for dreams. And, by her 24th birthday all her dreams had come to fruition. Marion had married a medical doctor – the love of her life – had a cozy, inviting home, and was expecting a precious child, a child who had captured her heart.
When her time came to give birth, she was wracked with pain. Doctors gave her anesthesia, which harmed her. She gave birth to a son, Jim, but she became paralyzed from the potent anesthesia.
Life became more difficult and challenging. Her teen dreams exploded. She was fitted with leg braces and had to learn to walk again. Various surgeries ensued. Worst of all, her handsome, prestigious doctor husband abandoned her and their son. She was devastated, but her faith in God usurped any depression or self-pity she might have mustered. Her contagious smile overcame the tears that seeped through her cheerful veneer.
Marion was a staunch evangelical Presbyterian, and she knew and believed that God had a plan for her life. She quickened herself from her bed of sorrow and went back to college to obtain a degree in Home Economics. She was recruited by a local high school.
Wearing braces on her legs and a charming smile on her face, she conducted cooking and sewing classes. Although Marion was somewhat stern in her teaching style, the teens loved her. She would console them and lead them in prayer when the girls (no boys at that time) had parent or boyfriend problems. She loved her students with a love that beamed like a lighthouse.
In spite of her handicaps, Marion accomplished all this while raising her son, maintaining a home, and furthering her education. Walking throughout campus on those injured and braced legs, she earned her MA degree.
One day a school administrator approached her and called her to mandatory retirement. Her crippled condition was causing crippling problems in her ability to teach. She didn’t have the stamina and strength that her once vivacious style needed. The thought of retirement crushed her heart; she raised her emotional dukes. But, she lost. Still a smile crossed her face; nothing could crush her strong willed, optimistic spirit.
She decided to enjoy the retirement life and develop the opportunities it reaped. Church beckoned to her charming spirit, and Marion delved wholeheartedly into church activities. She was a Sunday school teacher, a church greeter, and a church dinner hostess. Everyone in the large congregation knew her. She could brighten up a cloudy day and make the world as sunny as daffodils.
Unfortunately Marion’s health and legs deteriorated, and she became confined to a wheel chair. Her son, Jim, also decided to place her in a senior citizens village. It broke her heart, but once again that strong willed spirit surged, and she adjusted.
While there she succumbed to kidney failure. She endured treatment three long days a week for the rest of her life. Outgoing Marion became a shell of what were her heydays, as she laid paralyzed in bed with television her greatest companion.
After two years of often painful dialysis at age 82 Marion with her son’s input made the heavy decision to quit dialysis treatment. Before her death her family drove her to her favorite restaurant, her beloved church, and to see her many friends. She was thrilled!
A week later she surrendered to death and died in the arms of Jesus. Her last words were, “Isn’t heaven beautiful?!
Enjoy the things you couldn’t do on earth, cheerful, charming Marion. Walk! Run! Dance! Enjoy heaven and our beautiful savior who abides there. Enjoy eternal life for you brought joy to so many.
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