Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marilyn Lives Forever in Our Hearts

Our Dear Friend Marilyn is dead.  We went to the Visitor Center today to see her.  They told us the news. Words can't describe the shock we felt.  Our hearts ached and our spirits numbed.  We sat in tears on a half sawn ponderosa log there in the lobby of the Visitor Center.  How could such a vibrant, amazing, awesome, incredible, unique, special, fantastic, person perish at the young age of 59?  Marilyn went in for minor knee surgery and contracted an infection.  She passed away December 4th, 2011, sending shock waves through the Soul of Color Country.  They say the line for her viewing stretched on for three and a half hours, so great was the outpouring of community grief.

We tweeted our sweet wishes to Marilyn from the Visitor Center and then we began to talk about Marilyn's Legacy as we walked in sadness back to our vehicle.  Somehow the leaden gray skies of the day seemed even heavier above our heads.  As we walked we told ourselves that Marilyn would be scolding us for sulking in our sadness.  She would be saying, "Life is for the Living!"  Her radiant smile would be turning night into day, parting those clouds with rays of spiritual sunshine.  Marilyn, of all people, would want us to rededicate ourselves to enjoying the gift of today.

You know that old parable, right?  They call yesterday the past.  They call tomorrow the future.  Today's a gift.  That's why they call it The Present.

Yes, Marilyn would have us unwrap a new Present every day and she would be delighted no matter what the contents of that precious gift.  That was the essence of Marilyn.  Even though the reality that she is gone is beginning to set in on our brains, we feel her Spirit infusing everything we see.  As we drove away from the Visitor Center, a beautiful blue bird swooped low in front of the Samurai.  "There goes Marilyn," Susun said.  Of course, there was no doubt the bird was Marilyn's spirit.  We walked out to the rim and held hands in a moment of silence for Marilyn.  As we gazed across the infinity of Kodachrome Basin and Escalante Country beyond, we thought of Marilyn ascending up The Grand Staircase one final time to meet Her Maker and enjoy the Eternal Beauty of God's Grace Forever.

As I sit here in the Bryce Canyon Lodge writing these words, my heart is very heavy and a mist in my eyes makes it difficult to see the QWERTY keyboard below.  The daily banter of Lodge guests fills the air and a fire flickers yonder in the stone hearth.

We we drove toward the Lodge this morning we talked of the Challenge that Marilyn's passing puts into our lives.  Marilyn shared so many incredible gifts with us back in 2001.  She taught us lessons then that have helped shape who we are today. She always gave far more than she ever asked in return or expected to receive.  Therein lies our Challenge to Honor Marilyn as we stride forward to our own destiny.  It is our Challenge to appreciate, honor and celebrate every single day, to do our best to live our lives to their fullest and best.  We can honor our Dear Friend with nothing less than our best.  We know that would make Marilyn proud of us and that she would smile down from Heaven.

You may click here for Marilyn's obituary.

Click here for our July 31st, 2010 "Ode to Marilyn."

Click here for Wayne Ranney's July 2010 post from which we obtained her photo shown above.  THANKS, Wayne!

Ah, Marilyn!  We miss you.  Happy Trails Forever and God Speed!

With Great Respect & Love from Susun and John

1 comment:

Marti Spudboater said...

I know this is a profound loss for you and Susun, and Wayne, too. I recall your mutterings about Marilyn to me at various times and through the blog. She is so close to my age it is eerie to realize that what may seem simple often times is not. A surgery, a drive to the grocer, dropping of a kid to school. We take these things for granted. I know for me it's why I always tell my daughter I love her every day, because no one knows what tomorrow will bring. It's always great to reminice but most important of all to be present in the presence of those we love and cherish.