M had been my friend since high school when we worked at a theater together selling tickets and popcorn, and having more fun than we should have. She was the most genuinely loving and positive peer I have ever met, and that attitude served her well through a 12-year battle with cancer. During those years of chemotherapy and treatments she remarried, led a high school drill team, directed children's choir, taught Bible school, sang in adult choir, played handbells, developed a line of greeting cards for cancer patients, helped pass a law in honor of her mother to provide stiffer penalties for owners of violent dogs in Texas after her mother was killed by a pack of dogs while gardening in her front yard, and loved everyone around her well. Whew.
I've always loved in the Old Testament when one of the Patriarchs died, it is said they "died full of years." I have to believe if they died full of years, they also lived "full of years". M's years, though far too few, were full ones. At her service, the pastor read a list M purposefully left behind for her family, listing lessons she had learned as a result of her journey with cancer. She believed that each cancer challenge was part of God's purpose for her here on earth. She was passionate that God wanted her to share her experiences to help others. The program stated that "All who knew Marilyn feel so blessed to have had her beautiful spirit touch their lives." We should all touch so many lives in such a profound way.