Marilyn has an amazing story. In 2009, she was working two jobs and was happily married to the love of her life, Leo. Leo had been in the Navy and his career was installing and repairing HVAC systems. Marilyn adored Leo. Her eyes still light up when she talks about him. He was the kind of guy who would volunteer to play Santa Claus, or who would dress up like a clown and entertain crowds as an amateur magician. Marilyn remembers how he loved to play chess and how he would always do his crossword puzzles in ink. The two were blissfully happy together.
Then in March of 2009, Marilyn lost her full time job leaving her with only her part time one. They were still reeling from this blow when Leo had a massive heart attack. The attack put him into the nursing home, where he slowly made progress. One day Leo had a terrible fall at the nursing home. He lost his short term memory permanently. When he finally came home, life was very different for the couple. Leos next heart attack was fatal. He died in September of 2009.
By March of 2010, Marilyn herself had gotten sick and she was the one in the nursing home. She had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and couldn’t breathe. Her liver was shutting down and she was also battling a massive infection. Because she had always been a person who was constantly busy doing things, being sick was hard for Marilyn, she didn’t want to accept that she was as sick as she was. She got worse. –Twice while she was in the nursing home, they called the priest in to give her last rites. But Marilyn didn’t die as everyone expected her to. She battled back from the edge twice. Finally in August of 2011, she was well enough to leave the nursing home in Illinois and to go live closer to her family. She had been in the nursing home for a year and a half. Now physically disabled, she was unable to return to her career in accounting. She just doesn’t have that kind of stamina anymore.
Today, Marilyn lives alone in a one bedroom apartment in Allegan. She still gets together with her sister and her brother who live in the Allegan area, and she is honestly trying to figure out what God wants her to do with the rest of her life. She doesn’t know why God brought her back, but she is open to whatever it may be.