Written by Vern McDonald

What can you say about a woman who loved her family, loved people, loved animals, and loved me for 58 years?  Those 58 years were not always easy.  We married at 17 and had our first daughter, Lori, at 18.  We were so proud of her.  Little did we know at the time that this baby would grow up to bless us with our only granddaughter, Marsha, and three great-grandchildren that we love dearly – Billy, Brooke, and Brandi.

We started out with nothing but love and a prayer.  We could have given up many times but we chose to turn to each other instead of against each other.  I got a job at a steel mill and we were getting along pretty well when we found out that we were going to have our second child.  Unfortunately, our little boy, Vernon, came early and only lived a few days.  That was enough time for us to fall in love with him.  He was loved and never forgotten.  Even in Marla’s last days she would still say I wonder what he would have grown up to be?

In the following years we had another son, John, our third child.  John had a quiet
disposition and a kind heart.  He was talented in sports and a hard worker.  Devastatingly, he was killed in an auto accident when he was 35 years old.  I can’t even put into words how this affected us or the heartache we felt.  It could have torn us apart but instead it only made us grow closer, and love and respect each other even more.  It is not anything you ever get over.  Although Marla was amazingly strong, she carried this heartache until the day she passed.

Our fourth child, our daughter Holly, surprised us a couple years after John.  We were not expecting her but love her very much.  She later blessed us with our only grandson, Christopher, or Rambo as Marla always called him.

We had our ups and downs like all marriages but I can honestly say that I loved her the day I married her and everything we went through made that love grow every day.  We had our rough times as most people do.  However, we also had some wonderful times.  For two kids who start out with nothing we did pretty well for ourselves.  We raised three great kids, I ended up being Vice President of the steel mill, and we got to do and see a lot of wonderful things.  I am so happy that when I retired, we took off for about a month and just traveled together.  We didn’t have much of a plan but we had a wonderful time and made memories that I will never forget.

Marla cared more about others than she did herself.  She always made sure that no one did without and she had a way of making you feel special.  As much as I miss her, and I do miss her so much, I am glad that she is at peace with our Heavenly Father and her suffering on earth is over.  She is now an Angel in heaven, as she was always an
angel on earth.

Community Hospice offers individual in-person counseling, support groups and telephone support.  If there are other dates/times for groups that would be beneficial to you, we  welcome feedback and suggestions. If you would like information on our program services, please contact the Bereavement Team at 1-800-947-7284 or email at bereavement@myhospice.org.