my favorite poet

I wish all of you could have known Gabe’s Grandma Marilyn. You would have loved her. She was one of my favorite people in all the world–another person I want be like when I grow up. We had so much in common–a love of books, reading, writing, travel, people, and Jesus. And we shared several fun personality traits: quirkiness, a stubborn streak, a sense of humor, and a bit of an attitude. I don’t know that I’ve met anyone more in love with the Lord. Yet she was so honest about her struggles to give Him every area of her life. Oh, how I relate!

I am so, so, so glad she took the time to write paragraphs inside each birthday and anniversary card she ever sent Gabe, me, and the girls (she never got to meet Miss Nina–who shares her love of puffins!). We cherish those beautiful handwritten notes. She literally poured her heart into each one and thought of as many good things to say about us as she could.

Last week I found this poem that Grandma Marilyn wrote for me when I graduated from college in 1997. She graduated to heaven in 2005. We didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with her here on earth. (Oh, how she would have LOVED our 52 Zoos Adventure.) Praise the Lord for the promise of an eternity with her in heaven!


Marla, our girl, is blond and tall.
We love to be with her; we have a ball.
I first met her going to Indiana, to attend Grandson Gabe’s soccer game.
Repeating my stories, Marla thinks is a shame.

We found out orange is her color that she likes to wear.
And really, it goes with her hair.
It will be a year in August she and Gabe found each other.
And in 1998, I hear, I’ll become her Grandmother.

But, I don’t have to wait, because Grandma Marilyn is what she calls me.
And she and Gabe are meant for each other, as we can all see.
But of course we know God does everything right.
And so He guided them into each other’s sight.

I’m as proud as I can be.
Of this girl who is going to join our family tree.
At Cedarville College, years she has spent.
Studying to be a teacher, and to Okinawa she was sent.

I loved getting letters from her.
Hearing how beautiful the ocean is, to be sure.
And then—one morning she did call.
I loved hearing her voice, but getting Gabe’s number was what she wanted after all.

But, I’ll tell you, those three months that I wasn’t well.
Receiving her cards, knowing she was praying for me, helped break the spell.
Looking through her portfolio, I found out.
That girl is smart, and I’d like to shout.

“See what God can do for you.
When you trust Him, and to Him and His Word you are true.”
So, dear Marla, when you get home the 6th, and June the 7th, a graduate you will be.
And on June the 8th, your dear face I will see.

And, oh, precious girl, how blessed you will be.
As a counselor at Scioto Hills, where everyday your Gabe you’ll see.
But just as important, to help boys and girls come to the Lord.
And teach them to learn, grow and be in the Sword.

So, “Happy Graduation Day!”
May God have His will in your life, is what I pray.

In Christ,
Grandma Marilyn

If you knew Grandma Marilyn personally, I’d love to hear your favorite memory of her! Love and miss you, Grandma!

Have an awesome week, friends!

6 thoughts on “my favorite poet

  1. Jen Griffin

    I’ve heard so much about her from Mrs. Taviano…now here. She seems like such an awesome lady, that God used over and over. How wonderful to have all the letters and poems from her…you’ll always cherish them!

  2. Stephanie your sister

    Grandma Marilyn was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. I always looked forward to spending time with Gabe’s family so I could hear her stories and funny things she would say and because I knew she would make me feel like I belonged there. Because really, I didn’t belong there. It wasn’t my family by blood or by marriage. But it didn’t matter. Miss you, Grandma Marilyn!

  3. Jamie Nygaard

    I love that I had NO idea she wasn’t blood related to you! You completly adopted her, and her with you! What a neat connection you had with her Marla!

  4. janelle taviano

    I guess I would if I could…
    as stupid as it sounds..this week with her,
    is difficult…she too liked the fair. The other
    nite, to tears I went..for a lady washing her hands..
    brought intsant tears to my eyes.. She blessed my sons at the fair, she loved the corn dogs and lemonaides.. and we sat at the horse races and ate peanuts, in fear that she was “not sinning” for being there.. she loved to throw darts, and in a wheel chair with cancer, she won a sponge bob stuffed animal… I would take her carmel corn, if I went without her… I miss my Mom greatly…and again one word, one act, I am thankful for = salvation.

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