My mother was the most successful human being I ever met.

She had shortcomings and she knew about them. She had hard times but she let them go so she could keep enjoying life. She made things into joy and they showed on her face. In every postcard I have from her, she ended with “Aren’t we lucky?”

She made things into joy…

We sent out her ‘goodbye world’ letter two months before she died, so people she had known for 70 years had a chance to write back and tell her what mother meant to them. The letter speaks for itself and so, with great pleasure and a little bit of sadness, I share it with you here.

Dear Friends and Family,

Some of you may know that I was diagnosed in April 2008 with pancreatic cancer and I was working with a wonderful doctor in New York to see if I could turn it around. I’ve had a minor setback in my condition. My gastroenterologist gave me a choice of chemo or radiation. When I said ‘neither’, he said ‘good choice’. When I asked him which he would advise his wife to do, he said., “Both. I hate her. We’re divorced and she’s taking me for every penny she can.”

I’m definitely terminal but who knows when, probably a few months. Fortunately I’ve been able to spend this time with Kathy and Kim, and Michael has been able to visit. As you all know, my children have been my greatest accomplishment in my life. They are all healthy and honest and useful to other people, and I hope a little bit of that has been because of me. We have all become friends as adults. We should all be so lucky as to like our kids when they’re adults and to have them still like us!

I have had a wonderful life. I’ve been all over the world with Friendship Force and learned that kindness is the one way we can all be with each other. Don’t hurt anyone and help them if you can – that’s my motto.

There have been times when things were very hard in my life, when I didn’t know how I was going to feed the kids on my meager teacher’s salary, but we always came through and after a couple of those times, I just expected that I would always come out the other end of bad times OK. Remember that ‘the sun will come out tomorrow” and don’t waste a minute holding on to grudges or feeling sorry for yourself. Sometimes you can’t help it, but let it go as soon as you can. Every minute is precious.

I’ve been lucky to have goofy friends. I laugh as hard and as often as I can and after a while things just start to seem funnier everywhere, so you laugh more and harder. I like it that at my age my friends and I can still laugh til we pee.

I’m not afraid of dying. I know I’ll see my family somewhere out there but I am going to miss all of you so much. I may or may not write again. You can write to me if you want to. If not—no worries. I consider myself blessed to have had all of you in my life. Love yourself and live life as you choose – I have.

Adios Amigos, Marilyn

2 comments on “My Mother Really Really Loved Her Life

  1. What a delightful mom you have Kim!! I lost my mother at 3 yrs old and have always missed having that connection in the body. So I will take your mom’s words to heart. Wishing her many blessings and that the laughter continues on the other side!! Much love, Mary Bell

  2. What a wonderful person. What a gift to this planet. What wonderful memories you have. How fortunate you were that she was your passage to your life and had as an example of how to live your life. Thank you so much for sharing your mom with me (us).

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