Share a special moment from Marilyn's life.

Shared by Sam Knight on February 25, 2016

One of those heart rending and poignantly sweet memories came to mind recently.  In that last summer we had together at home, I was in the livingroom with Marilyn, where it became a choice and habit to spend all available time. She was reclining at one end of the couch while we were visiting.

 All of a sudden, her eyes grew big as she smiled at me and patting the cushion beside her, said,"come over and sit here with me".  I did; could refuse her nothing.  As I sat near her, she struggled to sit up with help, then her intent became clear as she attempted to put her right arm around my waist, and instructed me to hold her close.  

 So we sat, enveloped softly and gently in one another's arms, close and satisfying, taking in the nearness of each other.  But the strain was too great, and even through the strong pain reliever in her IV line, after just a few seconds of being vertical,  the pain drove her back, and we returned her to a semi-reclining position.  

She was striving for some sense of normalcy, however small, however fleeting; to relive the sweet sensations of happier times.   How strong she was, even in weakness.

And now the couch sits idle, empty. In my mind's eye, rich memories of my sweet love grow clear and I relive moments, conversations, loving satisfied smiles, hear that sweet laughter once again; feel the soft cool touch of her; think of the endless music we enjoyed together.  And I can't ever outlive the honour she did me for 42 years since we first met. 

Shared by Sam Knight on January 9, 2016

When that first exquisite and intense grief was upon me, I happened to be visiting dear friends from College days.  Another old friend and a family member of that household was just gone a few days before, and the hostess was relating a conversation that had occurred at the funeral reception.  A cousin joined them at their table and said he could just see their parents, uncles and aunts and other family members that had gone on, at a Sunday barbecue in that heavenly setting, when one of their number called out a name and said; he's at the gate! Then there was a rushing of feet and welcoming calls to the newest member as another dear one was joined into the presence of Jesus.  What holy joy and excitement filled the hearts and showed on those faces. 

Standing there listening, tears gushed from my eyes as my heart leaped within me.  My friend was concerned for me, but I exclaimed!  No, it's exactly right, I can see it.   

Today, I see how apt that picture was as I realize Marilyn was "at the gate" four years ago this morning.  How welcome they all made her.  The calming touch and words of her Lord quelled her pain, gave her peace and freedom; she was home at last.  Out of the storm, disappointments behind her forever, and the inestimable riches of heaven in her grasp.   

The ties of love forged in earth's fires over four decades cannot be severed easily, and so I remain, broken and desolated, anchor chain broken, adrift, and longing to see her once again. 

Sweet music breaks over me like waves crashing on rocks and revives me for a time.  Memories circle overhead and briefly alight on me at times, refreshing me for a season before this new reality resurfaces once more.  And I stedfastly maintain she was my center, my anchor, my dream, my song, my 'city on a hill', my reason for living, the light of my life, and forever, the love of my life. 

My last few moments single......

Shared by Sam Knight on May 17, 2015

This is anniversary month again.  May 12, 1973 seems like long ago and again like yesterday.  In the little church in the land where it’s always summer,  cherry blossoms were in full bloom when all the guests gathered for the wedding.  Messed up tux orders had been corrected, everyone cleaned up nicely, and rumours floated at random. 

One dear lady, under a purely false premise, told of finding the groom on a back staircase praying like there was no tomorrow, that he’d be able to remember his vows.  Another lady listened faithfully to incorrect announcements two Sundays in a row, and was just approaching the church when the service was over and the wedding party was exiting the church.  Only a one hour discrepancy.  True story.  A cousin flew in from 4000 miles away, had no idea where the church was or what is was even called.  She got picked up and given a ride to the door.  (by brother of the groom and a friend who just happened to be driving around and accidentally spotted her.) 

Marilyn, you were a 21 year old bride, and now you have a tiny two month old granddaughter, Scarlett.  She’s very beautiful.  Must favour you quite a lot.    But I guess maybe you know all that by now.

Oh, by the way, yes dear, I do,  a thousand times I do.

Shared by Rebecca S Hamack on February 26, 2014
The happiest day of my life, shared with best friends who just happened to be cousins. The music of the day was their gift to me, absolutely beautiful! 32 years ago.
Shared by Rebecca S Hamack on February 26, 2014
Beautiful presentation. A place to visit memories, longings and gratitude for her life. I'm happy to see it here, thank you for sharing.
Shared by Sam Knight on February 18, 2014

My sweet Marilyn,    

      On this eve of Valentine’s Day, 2014, I find myself surrounded by so great a cloud of self acclaimed experts that there should be no trouble getting answers to those questions that plague us daily.  And in spite of their ready help, I’m gaining answers to some questions that I never wanted to know.  Like, how long does love last?  Or when do you totally recover from losing a loved one?  But those answers come only from one’s own experience.  Does time really heal such hurts?  When will I feel better?  Well, I say good luck with that if you find any of those things actually work.      

      You and I used to joke about the TV commercials of a baker singing songs and quoting poetry around Valentine’s Day.  Themes like, How do I loaf thee, let me count the ways; and Loaf is a many splendoured thing; the Elvis impersonator baker; Loaf me tender, loaf me true, darling I loaf you….All a little suspect I think….    

      So many things I loved about you and continue to.  You had a lovely sense of humour just waiting to be approved and escape its confines.  I’m sure you practiced it to some extent before we became acquainted, but all I have to go by is after we met, and I saw it bloom continuously after that for as long as you were with me.  Your smile lit up my life, and the sound of your laughter repaid me so many times, as the frequent demonstration of your wit proved you were equal to whatever came along.  (so many people don’t get that last part more than half right)    

      Once we went to hear Ivan Rebroff in the Queen E Theater.  He was 6’5”  tall.  He told a story of his parents and brothers, saying that his father and brothers were all much over 6’ tall, but their mother was a very small woman.  Apparently after the boys reached their adult height, in order for her to hug or kiss them or her husband, they would pick her up and set her on a chair, to even out the height discrepancy.  Ivan (he pronounced it Ee-von Reh-broff) said his mother went around standing on chairs a lot.  I noticed something since that you must have picked up from that performance we saw and enjoyed together.  If I caught you coming down stairs at just the right time, you found that a couple of stair steps made you just my height.  Very handy for clinching and mouth to mouth work.      

      Just yesterday I was putting firewood into the basement and was reminded that you never backed away from physical work even in mean weather.  So many times I recall that you didn’t want me going to the bush alone with my chainsaw, so you came along, but not just for the ride either.  You enjoyed the wood heat in our home, and other times you didn’t like to see me loading and unloading the countless truckloads of firewood that it took to heat our home, so you came and helped.  Not every time, but so very many times.  You didn’t need to do that to prove your love for me, but no one needs to think that it detracted from the overall effect one bit either.  So, I guess it wasn’t all “indoor work with no heavy lifting” for you.      

      You were a marvelous seamstress, a skill learned under your mother’s capable oversight and direction, then further developed by your own industry and fashion sense.  Afterwards, for so many years, you exercised that skill for you and I and our kids, and like your cousins and friends say, you sewed for their weddings or inspired them to do such feats too.  Many times after my own mother no longer felt able to do alterations for herself, you lovingly took the projects home and returned them, ready for use in any company.  The time came when you searched out and bought your own outfits for so much less than you could create them, and you left a closet decorated with many lovely outfits.  Countless images of your sweet presence linger in my memory.  Laughter, beautiful clothing, great companionship.    

      Flowers were high on the list of favourites in your life.  I was always amazed at the colour schemes you worked out for gardens and flower plots and flower pots.  Those are some of the photos I turn to most often, and see the visual display of beauty you enjoyed creating.  The old white peony that I transplanted;    twice;   that used to be Mrs. Forster’s, is still flourishing, though it hasn’t bloomed since you left.  The tall orange lilies you planted and cared for, still grow tall, and will likely produce just as they used to if ever we get a year without too much or too little moisture and sunlight.  And I used to take such pleasure in finding potted plants for you, or cut flowers, but no greater than the pleasure you seemed to evince when they were presented to you.  Especially wild flowers wherever you found them, brought you much pleasure; from crocuses in April, to blue bonnets, and buttercups; wild roses were a thrill to find, along with honeysuckle and lilacs.  And there seemed to be created in me a hunger to bring to you all the bouquets I could when you could no longer arrange your own flowers or be in your own home to arrange them yourself.     

      You brought so much extraordinary beauty to my life, and everyone who experienced it, with your music.  You didn’t learn a piano composition just because it was famous or difficult, or would make you look good to achieve it.  You sought out and played those wonderful sounding pieces that move the soul of the listener.  I’m sure they were the crowning achievements of the great composers, if beauty, inspiration, peace and inner satisfaction were the factors to judge by.  Not content with leaving it at you being the last in a line of musicians, you saw to it that Sara and David were drawn into that sphere.  It seems you endowed them with a passion for accurate performance and attention to detail that separates the real from the imitation. 

      I was always thrilled that you took time to arrange songs, and accompany me on the piano whenever I felt the urge to burden the audience with my vocal efforts.  Somehow you heard it all with a straight face and seemed to take some measure of pride in my occasional opening of my lower pipes for the edification of all and sundry. 

      Now I long for the things that were, and so often listen to the recordings we made of your playing, remembering so many others that we were not able to record.  And when I have to, I find other performances of those wonderful pieces and listen to them to call to mind those precious and pleasant memories of your performances, public or private.      

      Much to my detriment, I think, were the eminently satisfying meals you prepared with astounding frequency;         that I consumed with astounding regularity.  There weren’t any new bride burnt offerings; even when you were a new bride.  No, there’s nothing wrong with my memory.  I have a long memory for bad food experiences.      

      Well, these are some of the loving recollections that occur daily to me.  They bring in their turn, not only the fresh tears of longing, but also the very satisfying inner feelings that respond to the quality of love you poured on me with amazing frequency.  Perhaps I’ll leave some others for another time.      
      I have such a lasting pride of being loved by you and having shared all that you had for me.  I thrilled to the recognition of finding how great a love can develop from giving and giving and giving.  I owe that to you entirely.       Your pattern of loving and giving has much in common with someone else we’ve come to know and admire in our years together. 

      I guess we grew closer in those years than when we first began.  Just now, I want no other.     Now there is a great gulf fixed between you and I, and no bridge for the time being.  I hope to honour your memory with my life.  

      Peace, perfect peace be yours my dear.  I haven’t achieved mine yet. 

O love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee…….

  All my love forever.


Night Visitant

Shared by Sam Knight on February 17, 2014

My Darling Marilyn

Night Visitant

If dreams do issue from the thoughts we keep,

which bring the vision of my dearest love,

no wonder that I see her in my sleep.

Who held me once, now waits for me above.


I, wrapped in mists of sleep, in clear relief behold,

 whose form and face forever I hold dear,

She makes these visits unannounced, untold,

brings to my dismal void her quiet cheer.


Started from my drear, I view her in the throng

She moves with quiet confidence and grace,

Instinctively I’d known that she must come along,

I rouse to win a glance, and view again her lovely face.


A kiss, a touch, what pleasure in the holding of a hand,

A hallowed sense of  her that I revere,

I long to keep her with me, to command

Love’s gentle affirmations in my ear.


I thrill to see, to feel her near, and once again

Love’s joyful pulse soon quickens all my heart

And brings me courage helping fight the pain

That when she leaves, once more can’t help but start


And so she bids me hold to love, in faith be strong

She whose precious love I sought and won

I sense that here, her mind cannot belong

No longer focused here, but on the Greater One


The sacred moment dims, She moves away

As loneliness returns, I rouse from sleep

This love I held, and mourn through every day

Still holds me fast and causes me to weep.

All my love, Sam

The foregoing lines were composed for the express purpose of honouring Marilyn
on this anniversary of her birthday.  They were put down on a stormy
Sunday afternoon February 16, 2014 at home near Killarney



"David's Rose"

Shared by Rebecca S Hamack on January 10, 2013

When he entered the room he needed no introduction. This was David, every bit a man, with the heart of a boy. He was holding a bouquet of roses, knowing his Mom loved them the best. When he whispered to her she opened her eyes wider and brighter than I had seen. The love between them was sacred. This is one of the roses he gave her. "David's Rose"

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