Saying Goodbye to Marilyn
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes.” But taxes (no matter how high) are inconsequential when it comes to death. It is the final chapter of life, the only thing you can’t repeal (or reverse) with a plea to the Supervisor or General Manager. It is final – nothing you can say or do will reverse it.
Often times it is startling how fleeting our moments on earth are, how exuberant or prolific someone might be and then poof, they cease to exist. Like a misspelled word, they become deleted from the hard drive of earthly existence. Unfortunately, the older we get the more we experience loss. And unlike sports, no matter how many times it happens some of us never get better at accepting it.
So I guess Mr. Franklin would not be surprised that Boca Raton lost a good friend last Saturday. For those of us who knew her – it was an inevitable shock – a rite of passage. But it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye – to put the final touches on her earthly biography.
Her name was Marilyn Abbott. She lived in downtown Boca Raton, was a teacher at Delray Elementary School and had four children – Lyn Michels, Lee Williams, Pete Williams and Catherine Abbott. She was born in Hawthorne, Nevada but considered Newport, R.I. her hometown. However, it was in Boca Raton that she spent the last 44 years of her life. And, it was in Boca Raton that Marilyn entertained friends with stories of her family and photos of her glamorous past.
But it was not her outer beauty that cast a spell on everyone – it was her inner goodness and caring nature. “Marilyn always looked on the bright side of things. She was friendly, caring, thoughtful and enjoyed life,” said Barbara Lunde, Minister at the Center for Spiritual Living.
It was Marilyn who invited everyone to her house on Christmas Eve – where the tree glistened and turkey breast flowed to the rafters. She also attended Sunday services at Center for Spiritual Living in Boca Raton, sang in their Inspire Choir and was always dressed impeccably. If you sat next to Marilyn after services, she would tell you about her children and her family. They meant more to her than the sun, the moon and the stars. She spent weekends with them, sat under the full moon at the Colony Beach Club with them and basked in their love and support. Marilyn never complained, kept a smile on her face and always helped others. She would hop into her huge Cadillac and pick you up if you needed a ride (or a favor) and thought nothing of cruising 60 miles to pick up a friend.
Marilyn also taught many of us what family should (and could) be like. Her daughter Lee was her heart, Lyn was her soul, Pete was her spirit and Catherine was her free spirit. They were together a lot and relished each other’s company for holidays, mile markers, shopping, weddings and family dinners. According to Lee, Marilyn was a great teacher and role model for her students as well.
It is for that reason that it is hard to say goodbye to Marilyn. If there is a lesson to be learned here it’s that we need to cherish our loved ones. We need to spend time with them and tell them we love them. It is also important to put aside petty differences and know that love is the most important destination on our earthly journey. “Possessions mean nothing in life. What’s important is your relationships and what you’ve done with your life. My mom was a good friend, she was kind, accepting and beautiful inside and out,” said Lee, Marilyn’s doting daughter.
I could not agree more.
A memorial service will be held Monday, June 25, at 4:30 p.m. at the Science of Mind Church.