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What a Woman!

October 22, 2012


Stories    What a woman!

Marsha was like a diamond:  multi-faceted and undeniably beautiful to all who ponder upon it and full of strength. Her beauty began within as a Godly, confident, compassionate, adventurous, and above all genuine person. Her outward beauty reflected these qualities with her sunny blond hair, her warm and caring brown eyes, and a ready smile and laugh that could comfort and reassure you in the toughest of times. She was a colorful person, like a diamond, radiating optimism on those around her: family, friends, coworkers, patients, and teammates. 

Marsha was so many things to so many different people and always a good listener. 

She was a nurse. Nurses are a special type of person, and I'm thinking of the good nurses here who are passionate about nursing -- the ones that treat you with medicine,  compassion and heart. Think about the grueling work schedules that nurses willingly endure to help provide comfort and healing to their patients! It is a trying schedule to be sure, and Marsha was in the military! So not only did she select a profession that requires long hours, she also chose to honorably serve our country and work where the government told her to.  

Your mommy was the first nurse friend that I have ever had, and I think that anyone who has a friend who is also a nurse is doubly blessed! I do not have the stomach to be a nurse and I was so grateful to ask for your mommy's nursing advice. One time I called her on a Saturday evening because the back of my daughter's earlobe was so red and swollen near her ear piercing. She said it sounded infected and she gave me a number to call so that I could make an appointment for the next day. I had no idea that the Navy had a clinic that saw people over the weekend -- Marsha was so helpful!

Marsha was a successful nurse in the military, and I had no idea that she was so successful until her memorial at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. She was so humble; my mouth dropped to hear of all the personnel she was responsible for and in utter admiration of all the accomplishments she achieved -- not an easy thing to do  as a woman in the military. Hopefully some others can speak about what it was like to be her coworker, supervisor or patient and give more details about that. Your mommy always was graceful.

She was also a great athlete. I met Marsha playing volleyball for the Navy; she played middle hitter. When I met your mom, I was an enlisted person not too far from boot camp where they tried to brain wash us that all officers are just terrible and rude. When I was at volleyball camp surrounded by officers and only 2 other enlisted players, I was a bit nervous. I had nothing to worry about though. Your mommy was so nice and crazy! One Friday night after we'd all cleaned up from practice, we went out for dinner. After dinner the whole team walked over to this Tiki bar where most of the social scene of the bar was outside. There was a walkway that led up to the bar, and this is where most of us stood, as it was crowded. Well someone, I bet it was your mom, had the wise idea to slap people coming through our line on their butt. So we did. One couple came through 3 times in a row, and after the 3rd time they went and told on us -- so we were kicked out of the bar. :)
She was a captain of our All Navy volleyball team. She handled awkward and questionable situations with composure and respect. There was a time when another player on the other side of the net was not being sportsmanlike. Marsha went up the ref without hesitation to point it out;  2 plays later the girl got a yellow card (a warning) to shape up.

There are not enough words that can describe the wonderful person your mommy is. It took me 3 months to get these words down. I thought it would be so hard...and it has been, but to think about her and how she has played a role in my adult life brings me joy.

Did you know that there were 5 volleyball players from the All-Navy volleyball team of 2002 that later became pregnant within months of each other? Yup. Your mommy was one of them, with you, Avery. :) It was so neat that all of us had a girl and then a boy! Crazy! 

After I had Bridget I was stressed OUT! Bridget cried all-of-the-time...around me anyway. Marsha's personality was like a soothing balm to those around her. She just was, probaby in part because of her optimism and just overall gentle ways. She came to visit me at my house while I was on maternity leave... Bridget was crying as usual when she arrived. Marsha took Bridget and guess who calmed down and stopped crying? Bridget. I thought, now why can't I do that? :)

Marsha and I didn't live physically close to each other or see each other all of the time, but I never worried about our relationship as good friends. We could always pick up where we left off; it was as if no time had passed from the last time I had seen her. 

Notice in the stories that others add and the tributes they post how recurring themes of her faith in God (she was almost always in a Bible study since I'd met her; where did she find the time?), her compassion, how genuine she was (a quality very difficult to find in people), her independence, and how she lived life to the fullest every day. Take note of these things, and know how much more so she used these characteristics to be an awesome and fun mother to you; anyone would loved and been blessed to have been her child. Listen to her whispers to you as you read these things about your mom and hold them close to her heart, as she holds you.
-Contributed by Edina Chinn 

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