Posted by Sam Knight on February 12, 2020
I've looked carefully back through all the posted memories here and am unable to find any mention of the account of how Marilyn and I met. So here it is. In print for the first time ever.

July 4th 1970 my maternal grandfather was buried. I was one of the pallbearers. Following the interment, we had just arrived home when a phone call came through requesting that I get ready to depart for the summer family camp in Alix Alberta. President George Leasor had committed the College Quartet of 69-70 to travel to Alix and then Arlington to represent the College.

Lane Eddy was our pianist as well as songbird, and had this fire engine red 69 Pontiac Grande Parisienne 2 dr hardtop. He was the chauffeur and transportation too for the trip. He drove to Killarney and picked me up; next stop, the Moose's Jaw. There we added Danny and Darla Cornish and Herb DeWitt. Then it was the long haul to Alix. We traded driving duties, and what I remember about my turn at the wheel was how they got me singing and then laughed at how much I exceeded the limit when my focus was on singing instead of the speed limit.

Some of the other details are a little foggy until we arrived at the Alix campgrounds just in time to get ready to sing. Lane found out who the camp pianist was and figured if he could trick her into accompanying us, he could just stand with the quartet and look pretty. Well, the pianist walked over toward us and she and Lane made the arrangements. Seems like everyone else in the group knew exactly who she was except me. I had never heard of her. Thought she was kinda cute tho'. Little and cute, well dressed, good appearance, etc, etc. The thought ran through my mind; "I Want One". Yellow coat, green dress(made it herself, including the white piping on it) black heels, all in all a pretty attractive picture. What I didn't find out til later was, she had pretty much the same response to meeting me.

Well, she took the song books from Lane and listened attentively to all he had to say, then took them back to the piano, laid them down, closed, and never looked at them again. She played them all from memory and kinda wowed everyone, particularly the guy that didn't know her.

Following the service, someone proposed we go to a local fast food outlet and gorge ourselves on fries and coke and what have you. Now, Lane had a plan in mind which wasn't immediately apparent to this quiet naive unsuspecting country boy. He had no designs on Marilyn himself, Danny and Darla were kinda busy, that left the wolf, oops, Herb, and Lane warnt lettin' him get near her. That left moi and after the conductor got his seating arrangements to his satisfaction, I found myself sharing a right front bucket seat with this aforementioned young piano lady. Now ifn you've ever been in the bucket seat of a 69 Pontiac, you know there is no extra room. So there we were, she kinda had to be on my lap,(before seatbelt laws) and I was very careful where my hands were on the whole trip. 

Long and short of it was, the evening was considered successful and a good time was had by all, as the editors used to say. Next morning when she was in a near front row pew in the tabernacle, the lewd fellow of the basser sort(thankyou Herb) found his was to her and squeezed in beside her. She smiled and made room and came back from the piano every time to sit close. Now I wouldn't ever have called her "fast", but she warn't slow nuther.

Then in that long noon dinner lineup, I found her again and we had our first of a few thousand meals together. We were both willing and fortune smiled graciously on the union. Wellll, as things would have it, we did seem to enjoy each other's company quite a bit. We eventually said our good byes and the quartet was off to Arlington for another round. 

I think she beat us over there. Earl Sandeen was the conference delegate to Arlington and since he was driving there, Marilyn asked pretty please if she might have a ride on account a becuz she wanted to go to camp. Wal, he said sure, and there they were. 

Ennyhow, I recall being somewhat pleasantly surprised on finding her there, and was just about to ask if she was twins cuz I had just met someone in Alix who looked for all the world like her, and then I realized she was stalking me. Welll, she wore this sky blue sheath dress with a white lace overlay, kinda started at her neck and stopped somewhere about the knee, (they were cute knees too) and all of a sudden I discovered her sitting on my knee, cuz I guess there was a shortage of chairs, benches, etc. Neither one of us fought the feeling, and the remainder of our stay at Arlington Beach was sort of stuffed with pleasant sensations and memories.

Saying goodbye was a little harder this time, she was kinda gettin' under my skin a bit, figuratively speaking an' all.

Fast forward to first day of College '70. My brother drove me up to Moose Jaw and as we landed, the whole crew were assembled to head out to a weiner roast type picnic, and again a lot of people knew what I still didn't. I was no longer on the available list, I had been spoken for, I was somebody's property, and there she was to greet me, little blond twerp in white jeans and brown leather fringed jacket, kind of a tentative smile and apparently happy to see me and take responsibility for my actions for better, for worse, in sickness and in health. Some of you were there, some of you have heard the account, now you have a handy printed reference. 

I'd have cheerfully traded everything I have in life to have spent more time with her. It was literally, "love at first sight".
Posted by Sam Knight on February 12, 2020
In mind’s eye now I see her, and long to tell her all that’s passed. 
Family changes, daily life- its ups and downs, and how we’ve missed her voice and touch. 

How we want to confide in her and share her thoughtful words. To hear her contagious laugh once more, and see her surprised response. 

To see her hold new babes and love them just because…
Watch her walk through the old-new home

To taste her cooking again, and listen to the incredible piano performances once more. She would be beyond proud of her daughter’s accomplishments, particularly in music. Delighted with her son’s family, she especially loved babies. 

I’d tell her that nothing is the same without her. So many things I’d enjoy, but she’s not here to share them, so they remain undone. Those things that once mattered and I cared about, now are unnoticed and ignored. 

The handbaskets are getting bigger and fuller and faster, but you can’t persuade anybody once they’ve made up their mind. Besides, there’s enough to do just keeping afloat and diverting the wolves.

That last night as I sat by her bed holding her hand, I caught glimpses of her profile that reminded me of certain photos of her at very young ages, the features hadn’t changed appreciably, she was forever young in my sight.

It was obvious that she was giving a supreme effort to remain here for us. She responded quickly to spoken suggestions even though she’d been unconscious for several days by that time. 

Time was very nearly up when I spoke softly to her to open her lips, they parted ever so slightly, and I swabbed her lips and inside her mouth gently to moisten her tongue. She relaxed and closed the final time. 

My final act on her behalf while she still breathed, was to assure her of my love forever and to encourage her to struggle no more in the weary fight, but to be confident that we would catch up eventually. I gave her permission to relax and cease her strife. That was half an hour past midnight. By 3:35, she ceased to breath. She was released and at rest finally. 

I, on the other hand, have not recovered. Time does not heal all things. On the plus side, I was privileged to make her acquaintance July 1970, be married to her May 12 1973, and literally follow her to the end of her earth, January 9th, 2012, then say a final goodbye on the 14th of January.

She has received nearly 50,000 visitors on the combined web site memorials since that time. The current total is 49656.
Thankyou to all who have participated in honouring Marilyn.
Posted by Sam Knight on March 24, 2019
And 13! This last song, Hallelujah, I Have Found Him, was a special favourite of Marilyn's. This again was an onsite live performance, this time at a Community food bank fund raiser held on this occasion in the Bay Avenue Mennonite Church on a Sunday night when Marilyn and I were contributing music. This is a special treat in that you get to hear her lovely voice. She was rarely comfortable speaking in public and there were about 200 in attendance that night. Still, she had her courage and did it admirably.
Posted by Sam Knight on March 24, 2019
Dear friends,  I offer my apologies for the lonnngg delay, but finally, here are 12 piano preludes in a live recording that Marilyn performed in Killarney Free Methodist Church on a lovely sunny Sunday morning. It was a small piano in a small sanctuary, with 85 friends and family in the audience, on or about May 1984. She was so familiar with them, she often played them with her eyes closed and her heart singing as her hands performed them. While the congregation worshipped through her music, Marilyn also worshipped as she performed. These were only a few of dozens that she regularly played.
Posted by Sam Knight on February 19, 2018
Ah Marilyn, my love. You remain forever the love and light of my life. No day or night passes without loving thoughts and memories of how you made my life more beautiful day by day. Your powerful influence continues to be felt in comfort, in guidance, in wisdom. Your sweet music flows through me by means of fortunate recordings saved and also nearly note perfect in my memory of many of your favourite lovely piano compositions that I was privileged to hear so often. The void created when you left can never be filled, and so I long for our next meeting. The glimpses I get of you in dreams are sweet and refreshing, but sadly inadequate. I've taken it upon myself to attempt to love our children and now grandchildren as you would were you here. No doubt my efforts are also inadequate, but sincere. Life is incomplete and unfulfilling without you. But I recall your faithfulness, your sweetness, your unfailing love, and I am somewhat restored by them. Your dear children uphold and surround me. And I, I wait to see you once more....
in your own words; all my love, forever.
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on February 19, 2018
Happy Birthday my sweet friend! I'm sure you are having a spectacular celebration of your life today. As the song goes, " I can only imagine."
I love you and I miss you and this one thing I know...I will see you again and there will be no goodbyes. Your 'Becca Sue'
Posted by Sam Knight on February 25, 2016
Dear folks who faithfully look in from time to time. So sorry to have missed some important dates from Marilyn's life, but a combination of back problems, nasty cold, and critical shortage of data, all at inconvenient times conspired to create a delay. We've now passed the fourth anniversary of her taking leave, the final commemorative service, and now Valentine's Day and what would have been her 64th birthday.
She was so vitally alive in the few short years allotted to her, and all I can do now is keep some of those memories current with occasional reminders. This sweet candle shines on and on.

See also, the added article and photo in the story section.
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on January 10, 2016
I have waited a year, with thoughts of you, to give tribute to you once again. I have full confidence that in Paradise you bring overflowing delight to our King and everyone who praises Him. I envy them them for that.
I miss you my "Dimpo", our memories are far richer and deeper than I could have known, over 40 years ago. And today I realize they are forever. I hope tthat I contributed something of value to your life, for I am so much better having known you. I simply love you and can't elaborate on that.
Sam, David, and Sarah, your words are dear to me. I can't imagine being thanked for doing what any best friend would do. You gave me the privilege of seeing her through to the end. I will forever be grateful to each of you for that. Stay together, love unconditionally, and always forgive. That will keep her spirit alive in your hearts. David and Sarah, my heart is very soft toward you. You are gifted with the body, mind and spirit of your Mom, you would do well to honour her all of the days of your lives.
Until next year.
Posted by Sam Knight on January 9, 2016
On this 4th anniversary of the day our sweet Marilyn; wife, mother, and sister, left us desolated here, and entered her new existence in that home of all homes, let us also offer our heartfelt thanks and long overdue credit to her dear friend Becky, for the wonderful memorial she solely planned, engineered, created, established, and funded out of her love for Marilyn. Becky, we honour you for your steadfast love and the unmistakable honour you've given Marilyn. Eternal gratitude is yours. We can surely say of you, like another in times past; 'Behold how she loved her'.
Sam, Sara, David
Posted by Sam Knight on May 6, 2015
"The total of visits to date on this site and her other site exceed 18460 since Becky started this site on Jan.18, 2012 and mine began on May 4, 2012. What an honour you've given her."
Posted by Donna Reynolds on February 19, 2015
Always loved; always missed.
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on February 26, 2014
In the audio section of the gallery there is a selection where Marilyn plays and Sam recites a poem he has written to her. Beautifully done, a duet that lingers and expresses the inexpressible. Sam might find himself a new career in radio after this.
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on February 20, 2014
I didn't miss your Birthday yesterday, Marilyn. I haven't forgotten you a single day of the past 2 years that you've been gone. How I wish I could call you, see you, hear you giggle at my silliness! You are all that is beautiful in friendship. Thank you Jesus for blessing me, and others, with precious Marilyn! Happy Birthday!!
Posted by Bill and Diane Conklin on February 19, 2014
Marilyn was silent but all encompassing; she spoke few words but expressed volumes; she loved deeply like a deep river but never wandered toward the babbling brook. Marilyn showed more grit and strength than most award winners....she loved Sam clearly warmed with his shining heart, endless stories, endearing manner. Just being in Marilyn's presence brought peace and the presence of God close. Always in remembrance of their "sold out" love of Father God.
Posted by Sam Knight on February 17, 2014
To read this tribute, select Stories; also, the audio version may be listened to among the music.
Posted by Sharon Casson on January 9, 2014
This year at Christmas I made 'Brown-Eyed Susan' cookies from a recipe Marilyn gave me in her own handwriting:) It is a very special recipe to me for that reason not to mention the cookies are delicious and Marilyn got the recipe from our grandma James a very special lady to both of us! I thought so much about Marilyn as I made those cookies. She was a dear cousin to me and I thank God for her. I will never forget her sacrifice of time in making 6 very detailed junior bridesmaids dresses for my wedding with not a lot of time and when she herself was expecting her first baby! I'll never know how she did it to this day but I do know she gave much as did her family to make it happen. I have such lovely memories of our times together from as young as I can remember! Truly my life has been blessed by Marilyn and her family!
Posted by Betty Walrath on January 9, 2014
What happy memories of singing together with Marilyn in the Aldersgate trio. Someday we will sing sweet harmonies together again in heaven. I'm sure the music there is more lovely and rich than we could imagine here.
Posted by Sam Knight on February 19, 2013
Today I found more of our letters after we were married. They read like fresh new love letters. Your deepest hope was to always be my most treasured possession; to never let anything come between us; to honour me, always. And to have me hold you, and comfort you; you said you could never get enough of it. Me too! I still can’t get enough of you. Forever yours, Sam
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on January 9, 2013
A year ago today you slipped away, and into the arms of God. I have images, memories, and can even hear the sounds of your giggle. But I have no words. They are pent up in the heart of your best friend who can't quite imagine your leaving. How blessed was I to be that girl! I miss you. I'll always be thankful that we got to say goodbye. I'm so glad you're whole and perfect and set free!
Posted by Esther Clausen on May 10, 2012
Marilyn, we haven't seen you for many years.  
You and Sam came to us one week end to visit and our lives were changed forever, when my husband decided to follow your husband in a major career change.
You are missed by so many.
See you again one day in Heaven, where we will once again enjoy your music
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on February 19, 2012
Happy Birthday Marilyn
Today you would have turned 60,
instead, you are forever.
I'm so glad you were born
my 'forever' friend!
Posted by Debbie Deyo on February 7, 2012
Marilyn was my favorite cousin. I remember her taking the time to color with me as a young child and the silly fun laughter we shared. She was a beautiful, honest and loving person as an adult. I have heard the colors in Heaven are amazing! See you again one day sweet cousin Marilyn!

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