A Death, A Good Life and Inspirational Words.

12 May

Opening Fb this morning I found the very sad news that the lovely young woman who organised Voluntours and through whom we did our Volunteering in Mapoch,S.A. died last night after a long illness. The very next thing I saw was Eleanor Roosevelt’s reminder to live our lives the best we can.

“The purpose of life, after all, is to love it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”

This is how Marnie lived her too-short life and what she encouraged everyone else to do. Meeting Marnie and her family and working in the community of Mapoch was one of the richest experiences of my life so far.

Last year we also lost the wonderful Pastor Peter Mbasa from the Mapoch community. Here’s what he said about  Marnie and the Volunteers she organised.

” I personally believe that your continuous involvement in the upliftment of the people has finally come to fruition. It has sparked some sense of self worth in the people. It makes me think of an avocado seedling. It takes from five years to thirteen years to bear fruit. But once it starts to bear fruit, it’s good nutrition for the body. And you will want to plant more because you are proud of the fruit. Some people never live long enough to eat the fruit, but people will always remember who planted the tree. Sometimes it does not even matter who planted the tree, as long as it will feed others. And its shade is the best to rest under in sunny days. Thank you my friends.”

Here, you can see Marnie in the middle, behind is the classroom we helped to build and the fence being erected by another volunteer

Here, you can see the always smiling Marnie in the middle. Sibongile, the teacher, is to the left  and to the left of her, is the classroom we helped to build. The fence, funds raised by the pupils at the school I had just retired from, is here in the process of being erected by another volunteer.

Sisters under the skin, the sisters with whom I worked in the classroom with their babies

‘Sisters under the skin.’   The sisters with whom I worked in the classroom took me to their hearts and called me their sister.


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24 responses to “A Death, A Good Life and Inspirational Words.

  1. Ayron Stafford

    May 10, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Happy Mother’s Day to all, and an expecially happy mother’s day to Marnie. It’s a difficult time for many but it’s one which she wouldn’t want us to get sad and depressed over, today is a day in which we remember all the great things she’s done and we be joyous that she was been in our lives and that she made it so much better.

    • mybeautfulthings

      May 10, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      Yes, stay positive as Marnie would have done. xx

  2. Ayron Stafford

    May 11, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    My name is Ayron, I am Marnie’s son, and as I write this it marks the start of 7 years without her, yet her memory will never die. I remember all the great things she’s done for me, all the people around her and all the people that have only heard of the stories.
    She was always there to push me through hard times, she was always so kind and loving. She would even love the people that didn’t like her (even though it’s hard not to like her).

    Here’s to more years with her in our hearts.

    • mybeautfulthings

      May 12, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      Hello Ayron, we met you in 2006 when we were working in Mapoch. You were maybe 8 or 9? I was sick on our arrival at your home and she was so kind and caring although she had never met me before.
      Your comment is beautiful and shows your deep love for your remarkable Mother.
      Marnie will always be in our hearts too. xx

    • mybeautfulthings

      May 12, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      Just a thought – I’m intrigued to know how you found my blog post about Marnie. 🙂

      • Ayron Stafford

        May 10, 2020 at 11:47 am

        My uncle actually found it and sent me the link

  3. Mary and Tom Friel

    May 14, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Marnie’s brother, Kurt, is married to our daughter, Jessica. We will always remember Marnie’s kind, loving and generous spirit when she visited our home in California in 2010. Marnie’s spirit will live on in all who were privileged to meet her. We feel deeply for the loss her parents, Iola and Jurgen and brother Kurt must feel, may she rest in perfect peace.

  4. Jessica Heim

    May 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you for that beautiful post about Marnie. She is my sister in law and the most selfless and kind person – just an inspiration to anyone who knew her. She will be very missed.

    • mybeautfulthings

      May 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Oh, she will! She was so lovely with us when we went to volunteer. I was so tired when we arrived and was very sick. She immediately took me under her wing, looked after me as if I were one of her own and all possible embarrassment at meeting people and throwing up was gone! She was a kind and generous spirited individual.
      I send my love and condolences to you all and especially to her parents for whom I feel such compassion. Thank you so much for commenting here -much appreciated. Love to you all.

  5. Nigel Pegler

    May 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I also worked in Mapoch with Marnie helping set up a bicycle project, she was without doubt the most amazing person I have ever met, I share your concerns about the community with the loss of Peter as well, lets hope their inspiration lives on.

    • mybeautfulthings

      May 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Thank you so much for visiting here and taking the time to write. I know your name well from speaking to Marnie. Let us indeed hope that their inspiration lives on. Certainly that would be a wonderful legacy for Marnie. 🙂

  6. Our Growing Paynes

    May 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I am very sorry for your loss. The world is a better place with people like her.

    • mybeautfulthings

      May 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Yes, indeed. The community has lost two key workers in such a short time. I worry about how they will cope. Hopefully, all the work already done will have sown the seeds.

      Thank you for your concern and love. 🙂

      • Our Growing Paynes

        May 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

        That must be so hard for the community. Here’s to them staying strong and moving forward.

        • mybeautfulthings

          May 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm

          We really hope so. There is a good strong background now so we can only hope that Marnie’s inspiration, encouragement and teaching live on. 🙂

  7. Don

    May 13, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Wonderful post – people of the earth. “to taste experience to the utmost.” Surely that’s precisely what it’s all about.

  8. Bernice

    May 13, 2013 at 12:23 am

    She looks like a beautiful person – so sorry to hear she has left us far too soon.

    • mybeautfulthings

      May 13, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Thank you. The whole community will miss her dreadfully as will her family. It must be so hard for parents to have a child die before them – all the wrong order of things. Thank you for your kindness.

  9. Lily Mugford

    May 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    She sounds like a wonderful person and role model who will be missed. It is always sad when someone dies too soon. My condolences.

  10. babyjill7...Marilyn Griffin

    May 12, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Sorry for the loss of your friend…Such a nice remembrance of your time with her…


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