My sister Mary is three years older than me and was my mentor as a young girl. She was always so enthusiastic and passionate about everything she did. She was involved and well liked. In high school she was a cheerleader, a homecoming and prom princess, involved in service clubs that reached out to help others, and found time to practice the organ and become very accomplished at that! And always involved in church activities. I was so proud when someone said “Oh you’re Mary’s sister.” That meant so much. I wanted to be like her.
That passion and enthusiasm was there in college and in her many years of teaching. She put her heart and soul into those children. I imagine many of them remember her with great fondness. She loved her students and they knew it.
After retiring she found new passions and dived in. Her Bible Study group was so important to her. And GoGo Grandmothers – we loved to hear her share her work with them. My sister Gail and I were amazed at her travels to Africa, those endless hours on an airplane, and traveling to such a remote part of the world to give her heart and soul to those dear people!
Her passion and enthusiasm for her family never waned. As for our children and grandchildren, she was always interested in what they were doing and always lavishing them with love and gifts. As our granddaughter Riley faced her battle with cancer Mary had her Bible Study Group, her GoGo Grandmothers, her church family, and everyone else she knew, praying for our Riley. And our Riley is doing very well. At our last visit with Mary she asked about our children and grandchildren – and excited for all the news we shared.
Needless to say, her passion and enthusiasm for her own children and husband were greatest of all. She was so proud of all of them and loved them with all her heart. She spoke with such pride of their accomplishments and their many gifts. And I’m so thankful that each of her children carries some of Mary’s best gifts – love, passion and enthusiasm! She lives on in them!