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Remembering Marilyn Hampton

At my Mother's memorial service, my youngest brother Scott gave the following rememberance, which I thought was worth posting for those that know any member of our family:

First, on behalf of my family, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to each of you for your kindness, thoughts and prayers, and for being here today to remember and celebrate the life of our mother and grandmother, Marilyn Hampton.  We would also like to thank Father Angelica, Reverend Lederhouse, the organist, Bruce Lederhouse, Mr. Lewis Masson for playing the bagpipes, the women of the church for making possible the reception after the service today, as well as the entire Church of the Holy Spirit family.

On a personal note, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my wife JoAnn and my daughters, Sarah and Jennifer for their love, help and incredible support during this time.

For those of you who do not know me, I am Scott Williams, Marilyn's youngest son.  My two older brothers, Todd and Craig are also here with their families.  For those of you who knew my mother well, you already know who we are, where we live, what we do for a living, and most likely our favorite foods and colors!

I say that in jest, but that is really a reflection of a very, very important part of my mother's life... her family.  She was an extremely proud mother and grandmother whose love of family was second only to her very strong faith and unwavering belief in God and his son, Jesus Christ as our lord and savior. 

We have many, many fond memories of our mother growing up.  She always made sure that we had new clothes for school as well as for church and Sunday school.  What you may not know is that, although we sincerely appreciated that, the trip to the department store was a dreaded event as it meant that my mother might see someone that she knew there, and an hour of shopping could easily turn into 2 hours once she was done visiting.

Although we may not have realized or appreciated it when we were young, this was another very important and admirable quality of my mother - her many friendships and unending ability and the joy she took in making time to talk or correspond with family and friends over the years.  This is something that we could all learn from in this day of fast paced, hectic and busy lives with what can seem to be little time for what are often the most important things in life once you slow down to realize it.   

Another fond memory we have is the traditions that were so important to my mother, especially birthdays and holidays.  She loved to tastefully decorate our home for each holiday and to celebrate and recognize these occasions with many family traditions including, for example, allowing me to dress up in a cowboy outfit for my birthday party - I believe it was my 16th birthday, decorating the Christmas tree with special ornaments that we had made or were passed down in our family, going to see fireworks with my grandfather on the 4th of July, which was also his birthday, and receiving or giving special hand selected cards for any occasion.

As many of you may know, my mother did not drink, smoke, gamble, or surf the web although she did have a couple significant vices - talking and buying or cards and stationery.  She did not own a computer or a cell phone, so the greatest invention of the modern era for my mother was the introduction of unlimited long distance calling at one low price.  Although I believe the rising cost of stamps may have offset some of her savings.  She loved to send cards, notes on special stationary and write letters to friends and family just to let them know that she was thinking of them or to recognize their birthday, anniversary, or other special occasions.  Many of you I am sure have received such letters, cards or special notes like that from my mother.   

No matter what the holiday, though, my mother made sure that the true meaning of the holiday was clear, understood and appropriately celebrated.  By this I mean that we while would participate in an Easter egg hunt, or exchange presents and receive toys on Christmas morning, we were taught the true meaning and significance of Easter as the resurrection and ascension of our lord Jesus Christ, or Christmas as the birth of Jesus.

Not only were we in church on Easter Sunday or Christmas Eve, but my mother instilled in each of us a strong religious foundation as Christians and a belief in God.  She taught us the importance of worshipping in Church, and we participated in Sunday school, church choirs and youth groups. 

This was an aspect that I believe truly defined my mother as her faith, work as a Sunday school teacher, member and director of choirs, love of music and singing particularly in church choirs, solos or duets with her father, work in women's ministry and organizations, role as a church secretary and many other roles were an extremely important part of her life and gave her great joy.  This also served to strengthen her faith as a Christian and what ultimately allowed her to make her decisions in the end without any fear and with an undeniable belief that she would leave her earthly body, but have everlasting life in heaven and I have no doubt whatsoever that she is looking down on us today, signing along with the hymns, and once again healthy and reunited with family and friends who have gone before.

As I thought about what to say today and how I could adequately and appropriately reflect on our mother's and grandmother's life and how much we loved, admired, respected and appreciated her, it occurred to me that what better way than to send her one last special card to let here know how we feel, although there is nothing that I am going to say here today that I did not tell her when she was alive.

            When we were born, you were so proud to be our mother and grandmother,

            You took care of us, taught us right from wrong and saw to our every need.

            Could I have chosen the most wonderful mom, I could think of no other.

            Our values and morals are all reflections of the things in which you so strongly believed.

            You were a woman of strong faith who took time to appreciate the little things in  life.

            I want to thank you again for your guidance, support, encouragement, advice and love     

            You were a wonderful daughter, mother, grandmother, friend, and loving wife.

            And I know today that you are joyfully and peacefully looking down upon us from above.

            Today we are all gathered here to remember and celebrate your life with both joy and some tears

            You have fought a long and hard battle, but today victory is yours and the battle has been won

            One day I hope to be able to approach things they way you did, with such peace and without fear

            But I want you to know that I have always been and will always be proud to be called your son.

I love you with all my heart,

Your son,

Scott

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 16:56 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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