Marsha’s Story

Site created on March 9, 2018

On February 16, Marsha was diagnosed with a brain tumor. On March 5, surgery removed 99% of it. As treatment continues, we'll use Caringbridge to give our friends steady updates.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Chuck Hussung

The thing most likely to make me cry in the last two weeks has been gratitude. The length, height, breadth, and depth of your love and care for Marsha and me and our children—these gifts have carried us through this stormiest of times. Every message, every prayer, every thought of us, every visit, every gift, every meal, every story of Marsha—every single gift has been light and grace and strength for us. We have looked on tempests but, thanks to you, our love and trust was never shaken. We’re in deep sorrow, but we also know that our sorrow is the most direct and inevitable consequence of joy. Thus, in the midst of our sorrow, we are also deep in the joy of all that Marsha has given us and all that she gives to us still.
I talked with St. Louis Cremation this morning and learned that the cremation is taking place today. I've been listening to a Youtube recording of “Hymn to the Eternal Flame” as part of my morning devotions this week, thinking of Marsha as part of the eternal flame and thus making her the "you" of the lyrics. The poem is by Michael Dennis Browne; the choral setting is by Stephen Paulus.
Every face is in you, every voice, every sorrow in you.
Every pity, every love, every memory,
Woven into fire.
Every breath is in you, every cry, every longing in you,
Every singing, every hope, every healing,
Woven into fire.
Every heart is in you, every tongue, every trembling in you,
Every blessing, every soul, every shining,
Woven into fire.
Many years ago, Marsha and I were holding a baby shower at our house. I wanted her to sing a blessing for the baby. She went back and forth and back and forth more times than you’d believe, since Marsha tended to be so decisive in so many corners of her life. She was torn between saying yes to my request and the embarrassment she felt performing for guests in her own home. “I just can’t sing for people in my own living room.” Eventually, I withdrew my request.
It was only temporarily that I withdrew it, though. The next time we were hosting a baby shower, I made it what we called a salon party. All guests were invited to read a poem or sing a song for the gathering. Thus, Marsha could sing for the baby and not feel artistically self-centered.
And thus, I make this suggestion to you. If you’re able to come to the visitation at Dayspring Baptist on Friday and if you have a musical or poetic offering you’d like to make, as gift to Marsha and our guests, as prayer perhaps, bring your instrument or poem and share it in the small chapel to the right of the narthex. John’s band-mates are planning to sing some for us. My brother Mark will have a piano piece or two. What we’re imagining is not scheduled or formal in any way, and I will not be able to hear most of your gifts since I’ll be greeting guests in another part of the building. Even so, it will please me to know that some of you are sharing these gifts.
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