Marshall's music, t-cells, t-shirts and more

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Widow. There. I said it. It only took six months, but there it is. Staring me blankly in the face as I type this just as it is you while you are reading this. It didn't feel or sit right with me for a while. Maybe not even now. Probably because I felt Marshall so closely and had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life just after his death. I still feel him around at intervals and Kezman much more frequently than myself. One time at a museum and another time at kindergarten registration (may I add that these were both times I was really, really missing him), Kez has informed me that his daddy is with him "all the time mom. Come on mom, stop crying, I saw a white light and he was there and saw everything with me". I believe that Marshall will help his son from the other side of the veil. I need ALL the help I can get being a single mom.

I've been thinking of one of the things that impressed me the most about Marshall while I was dating him. He would often visit two elderly widows. I remember them well and can see their faces and hear their voices because of how often we would visit them. Sweet Lillybell and feisty Antoinette. They were not his family nor members of his church. Sometimes he would play his guitar for them or sometimes we would just sit and watch a Jazz game. I grew to love these women just like they loved Marshall because we spent a lot of time with them and it seemed like they weren't afraid of anything. I was reading an entry in Marshall's journal the other day and I caught the words, "she was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen in that moment" on the next page and chuckled to myself thinking, "now which girl is he talking about?" He wrote about a lot of girls in his journal- he was a little girl crazy for a while and I was pretty much the opposite- good at pushing guys away, so I'm not sure how that all worked out :). Anyhow, the woman he was talking about was actually Lillybell- well into her eighties and curlers in her hair. It was something she'd said about worrying about the afterlife that caused Marshall to view her in that light in that moment.

Now that I am a widow I know how much that time meant to each of these women. How wonderful for someone to just come offer their company- no matter what it was they did. Being a widow is often a lonely place.  It's not because we don't have friends or we are not outgoing. It's partly because we are grieving and don't want others to see it. Also partly because the friends and family in our lives do not fit in our world like they once did without our spouse. We are in the process of reinventing our lives and where we should be to benefit ourselves, but mostly our children without their parent. That includes location, relationships, everything. Just imagine every relationship in your life, especially the people closest to you, all changing all at once. BAM! You're no longer married (by no choice of your own), all goals change at once, and most importantly the person you loved the most and spent almost all phone calls, texts, relationship-building efforts on is also suddenly gone. Your kid now only has you to depend on for all physical needs. The very purpose you have been on the front lines fighting for years and basing all decisions, even who to work for and how to provide the best care for the cause you were engulfed in 24/7 is now no more... 

Now, being a part of this 'widow group' that really no one wants to be a part of- I have met more people who I revere and feel like aren't afraid of anything. They are strong, independent, and inspiring because they have to be. There is no other choice in the life of a widow. All while missing the person you love the most, you're expected to figure out all the bills, the legal matters, taking care of a home, a car, and most importantly kids by yourself. You're now living a life that you had planned and that had been ok to do with someone else alone.  Don't get me wrong, I am sure that people on the other side of the veil are trying to do their part, but I'm also sure they are trying to inspire others to help as well. 

One way I feel that Marshall has blessed me from the other side has been a friendship with an apostle and his wife. I appreciate such a busy apostle taking some time to spend with me last week. It reminds me of the scripture James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world". 

I think Marshall did a great job at keeping himself unspotted from the world the last years. I also think Marshall knew more about life and what would become of his life than he would tell anyone, including myself and his mother. In fact, he wrote those very words down, "What I won't share with my wife or mom is the idea that maybe God is just giving me a little extra time to be with them before he calls me to the other side...when it's your time, it's your time". 

I also remember while dating him having a very prominent experience one night. I had gone into his home and saw posted on the fridge, "deep water is what I'm wont to swim in". It was a quote from the prophet Joseph Smith. It left such a HUGE impression on me that I almost broke up with him that night. I knew that Marshall would be called to swim in deep, strenuous, thrashing waters in his life in that moment. Although I had no idea at the time what would be in those waters, the Lord had given me a premonition and I do not deny to this day that after knowing that, I chose to stay by Marshall's side. I chose it. I think it's because I had just returned home from serving for a year and a half in a foreign country learning a foreign language living a foreign life. Timing is everything right? So I remember deciding, "bring it- I got this with you whatever it may be!" I never in a million years thought that would mean a long cancer battle, three FDA clinical trials, and now being widowed. I think if I had seen the future (which oftentimes on this blog I have posted I wish I could have), I may have actually broken up with him that night. I'm glad I didn't see the future. As hard as things have been and are I am grateful for who they've made me and the faith I now have in the Savior and eternal life. No one can take my trials away (I've wished a time or two), but they also can't take away my testimony and experiences.