Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jim's Tribute to Mom

My brother-in-law, Jim Estes, wrote the perfect, moving tribute to Mom.
Jim works for USA Track and Field and was in London working for the 2012 Summer Olympics when Mom was dying. He was not able to say good-bye to Mom in person before she died but he did an exceptional job, in his writing, at capturing his emotion and the true sense of who Mom was.
Jim was the first to step up to the podium at Mom's memorial to read his beautiful tribute AND Dad's sweet letter to Mom.

We're here today to say good bye to Marilyn Bromley Forrester and to remember and celebrate her life. She was a lady of many talents.

To Hal, she was a wife

To Camille and Anne, she was Mom

To Dave and me, she was the best mother-in-law a man could hope for.

To Emma and Wade, she was "Marin"

To Lyndsey and Nick, she was "Grandmommy"

She was amazing at all of them.

Marilyn faced more medical issues than any one person should ever have to, including Alzheimer's, MS and heart disease and she did it with determination and grace.

Because Marilyn lived for more than 30 years after the FIRST time doctors told her that she didn't have long to live, I'll always see her as the woman who beat them all.

One of the things that always struck me was that when you would ask her how she was doing, she would reply "I can't complain." But I think it was more that she WOULDN'T complain. It was as if she refused to give these illnesses any regard whatsoever. She wouldn't let them keep her from another day with her husband and her family and friends.

Along the way, Hal was by Marilyn's side and watching them over the years taught me a lot about commitment and love. They truly knew that every day was a gift and made the most of every one of them.

Hal asked me today to share with you a letter that he's written to Marilyn:

((see his letter in the prior post titled "Dad's Letter to Mom"))

Over the years, I've had the privilege to see some of the world's greatest athletes perform. I've always admired how they push through pain and adversity but as I sat last week watching some of these athletes, I thought about Marilyn and the fact that pain and adversity was part of her life every day. No time-outs, no rest between events. This was a part of her life all day, every day but again, I don't think she would want us to focus on that, she was simply doing what she needed to do to be there for her family. For that, I admire her.

Though it does hurt terribly to know that she's gone, there is some amount of comfort knowing that she is finally at rest.

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