When I heard yesterday that Mary Brown had passed away, a deep sadness descended. I knew Mary had been fighting cancer for a long time, and I also knew that the cancer was winning. I knew she spent more days in bed than out and about, but I guess you are never ready to say good-bye to someone. You always think there will be more time.

I got to know Mary because she worked in the office at Temple Christian School for many years. All the kids loved her. She always had a warm, welcoming smile for them, but at the same time, despite her caring demeanor, she was always wise to those trying to get away with something.

I suppose when you have five daughters, that is a skill that is highly honed.

It never failed when I came into the office – both when I worked there and when I was subbing or just dropping something off for my kids – that when I asked how the morning was going, that Mary would say, “Crazy, as usual,” and then laugh.

Despite the frazzled mornings with the phone ringing, kids coming in late and people bringing in lunch money, I know Mary loved her job because she loved the kids and her co-workers. I know it was hard to step away from that job becauseĀ of her health.

Even though Mary knew she was probably going to lose her fight with cancer, whenever I saw her at church or at a game or just out and about, she almost always had a smile on her face. There was still a light in her eyes, even the last time I saw her at church, looking frail.

Even in these final months, Mary raised her hands to praise the Lord during worship in church. She didn’t walk through the valley of the shadow of death – she praised her way through it, and whether she knew it or not, it was encouragement to all who witnessed it.

Her actions as she neared the end of her life were such an example to me. I’m sure there were days when Mary was scared or she got frustrated or felt discouraged. I’m sure there were days when she cried, overcome by it all. After all, she was only human.

But what I saw and what others saw was a woman who facedĀ her illness and her coming death with a grace and a dignity I can only hope to emulate when my time comes.

The reason she could do that is because she knew that this world, as much as she loved the people in it, was not her home. She could face an uncertain earthly future because her eternal future was secure.

I can say with confidence that I know that Mary is in a better place. I know her pain and her suffering are over. But I also know that won’t change the grief her friends and family will have to walk through or the hole her passing will leave in all the lives she touched.

The thing is though, through my tears, I have to smile because I can picture her. I can see her at the feet of Jesus, her hands lifted in worship, whole and healthy with her face shining with joy. Because Mary knew Jesus, I can truly say, “Rest in peace, friend.”

“Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ” ~ I Corinthians 15:55-57

5 Comments on Saying Good-Bye to Mary

    • I’m so glad you liked it. Your mom was a special lady and I will certainly miss her! I am praying for you all. ((Hugs))

  1. I met and fell in love with Mary 14 years ago when I got my very first paying job. She welcomed me to the TCS family and became a faithful friend and encourager. When her cancer came back 4 years ago, I went and visited and we talked all afternoon about the past the present and the future. She was strong and hopeful, whether she was to be here or called home. A week later I was diagnosed with cancer also…so we walked some of that journey together. I thank God for the wonderful, creative and caring woman she was. Thank you Rosanne for using words so powerfully for truth.

  2. What a beautiful tribute!I never met Mary,but her daughter Lisa and I and her family are good friends.I’m sure that this amazing tribute will be a blessing for them!Bless you for this wonderful tribute!

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