Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Xmas Love. Not a day goes by that some part of you: your incredible presence, love of life, literature, art, food, family and friends graces my memory. There's a place in my heart no one can touch Marian but you. I miss you, I love you and I'm so grateful for all that we shared together. How would I have survied my first years in ND without you and Bessie Lamb? You were my biggest supporter, motivator/inspiration and collaborator. You inspired me in a way that I hadn't made contact with in a long time, an artist knows when it feels right and finally it felt right again.

Meg said, "Marian was one of those people with presence, bigger than life, like a movie star." It's true. It amazed me at how heads would turn watching you when we were out and about. You never let on but you knew. You said to me once, "People just don't make an effort in ND (about their dress)". I found it equally amazing at how children were drawn to you. I think they sensed your inner playfulness and skepticism of what the adult world felt was "appropriate". How many other grown women were invited to tea parties? How many other women would not only accept the invitation but delight in the opportunity to dress for the occassion in long gloves and stunning hat with accessories? You never talked down to young people and that too is what drew them to you.

You were a challenge. If you didn't want an honest answer then don't ask, right? You had a way of driving me nuts because practical never seemed to even enter into your world view. But, you also showed me how to live each moment without fear. I've never known anyone that seemed to know how to get the most out of every experience as you.

There's too much to say about you woman so I will try to say it in my art. I hope you'll keep your promise and continue to inspire me. I'm sorry that at times I can't find it in my heart for joyful release. I try, I do but then I just miss you and there is no joy in that for me. All my love. Marilyn

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Memories

Just thought I would shoot an email, was thinking of Marian.....missing her.

She and I used to enjoy a glass of wine together at her parents' house around holidays. She was such an amazing hostess. Anyway, I will miss her a lot this thanksgiving. I know the house will be filled with stories about her and memories of her so we will be laughing and smiling through the tears as we talk about her.

Anyway, just thought I would share my little memory.

Thanks for keeping up the blog.

Marian's Cousin,


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My daughter has passed on.
I am very sad.
There is a hole in my heart.
However, this short note is for neither Marian nor I. It is for four angels:
Kelley Mullin
Libby DeBattista
Angie Noel
Jnani Chapman

Never in my sixty eight years have I seen such selflessness, such devotion, such love and caring as these four women showed to my daughter as she came to the end of her days.
They cooked for her, fed her and then cleaned up after.
They washed her clothes and helped her wash herself.
They read to her when her eyes were too tired to read for herself.
They tracked her meds and made sure she took the right ones at the right time.
They prayed for her and with her.
They slept on the floor at night in case they were needed in the middle of the night.
In short they made the last days of Marian’s life on this earth one of peace and tranquility and allowed her to pass quietly and with dignity.
I love you and thank you all for all you did for Marian.


A Piece of Her Heart

After hearing the kind words of so many people at Marian’s service after her passing, I realized that I was just one of the hundreds of people who Marian gave a little piece of her heart, and her time, to show them new ways to enjoy life. I met Marian through a volunteer group for breast cancer patients named Shanti. Marian invited Shanti and me into her life in early 2008. From the first day I met her, I knew that the time I spent with Marian was going to be enjoyable, unique, and enlightening. I initially thought Marian had brought Shanti into her life to have someone help out with things like picking up groceries, organic foods and teas, planting vegetables and flowers, cleaning up around the house, and to find someone to play a tiny, almost insignificant practical and emotional support role relative to the support she received from Len, Austin, her parents and her other family members and friends every day. It became quite obvious, after only a few afternoons with Marian, that like so many other individuals and organizations, I was invited into Marian’s life under the premise that I would be providing the assistance and support, but in reality, it was me who received the gift – the gift of spending time in the presence of someone so unique, selfless, thoughtful, and dynamic. Marian was a truly special person, someone who could make a positive impact on someone’s life in just a few brief moments.

Marian – I only hope our fun days together were even half as meaningful to you as they were to me. I will always miss you, and will never forget you.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Marian and I were friends for about 17 years. In the last few years our communication consisted of messages on answering machines. I missed her very much then, as I do now.

At Marian's service I recognized very few people other than her immediate family. Austin was so grown up, a man, and that gave me more solace than anything. When Marian would make me dinner (almost every night) when we were neighbors on Carl Street, Austin would be right beside her making the dressing for the salad. He was only about 3 or 4, but if he wanted to cook, then that's what she would teach him. She was such a good Mommy.

Then, when he got a little older, she would fight tooth and nail to make sure he got the very best attention he could at school and at home. I loved looking at the collection of books she had for him. I would lay on her floor for hours next to the spinning bookcase - Marian and Austin's library.

If you can believe it, I knew Marian before she loved animals. I remember the first time she agreed to cat sit. Her apartment was meticulous and she spent days picking up cat hair! She was a good friend above all though, and would always allow my blue eyed dog Jack to sleep on her floor. She said it was only because he was so handsome. Always the aesthete.

I heard so many stories at the service about what Marian brought to people's lives and my story is the same. She opened my eyes to books, music, organizational skills :), treasure chests (she had so many!), fancy cosmetics, truly loving friendship, I could go on and on. I'm so lucky to have known her.

My best to Augie Dog and all her family and friends.
Much love,
Angela (Scott) Donlan

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My darling daughter Marian...

I held you in my arms when you were born, I held you in my arms as you left this world.
My arms are empty now, but my heart is very very full.
I love you forever,

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It is with deep sadness that I hear the news of Marian passing. And reading the words on the blog just shows what a wonderful human she was.

I had the greatest pleasure of working with Marian, for only a brief period, at Aeneid/Eoexchange in 1999/2000, when she was an intern completing her MLS degree. She worked one or two days a week - I think it varied and we would have lunch every week. I looked forward to our time together and she touched me in ways she'll never know. She was a great inspiration to me, a strong woman and beautiful to boot. I'm half the woman she was.

I heard about her breast cancer diagnosis in 2002 and never got a chance to see her - I had moved home to England and was back and forth to SF. We missed each other and alas lost touch, but I have never forgotten her. She was definitely an inspiration to me and I am so sad that she didn't beat the cancer. This news certainly puts things into perspective. This is a great loss of a great lady of immense human capacity and a huge heart.

My thoughts are with you and her family, please let everyone know how farspread this stunning lady has reached.

Sorry to see her go and may her memory live on. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to share her.

Best Wishes
Sarah Lebedeff

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back at You, Kid

Marian and I became friends through a disease. Ugh, right? Except there was nothing terrible about our friendship except for its brevity: two years and a lifetime.

One gift Marian gave me was a simple card, picked up at Trader Joe's market. She may have given the card to others; in a way, I hope she did share the joy it gave me with other friends. The art (Linda Carter Holman) is of a woman in southwestern garb hugging the long stems of cut calla lilies and tulips to her chest over a quote from Wallis Simpson:
A woman's life can really be a succession of lives, each revolving around some emotionally compelling situation or challenge, and each marked off by some intense experience.

Inside, under the printed "Thinking of you with love during this challenging time" sentiment, she had written:

"Libby, Libby (Hedgie, too!),
I miss your hugs...
I miss your laugh —
I miss your tears —
I think of you everyday.
I love you so much —

Who knows what "intense experience" prompted the card from my friend. I do know that losing Marian from this physical realm saddens me and while I believe she is in a joyful place, my suffering is all about me. And so I offer her poem in my heart,

I miss your hugs...
I miss your laugh —
I miss your tears —
I think of you everyday.
I love you so much —

Fresh Berries

Marian was a wonderful woman. She was so kind to me, and I loved her from the second I saw her. She seemed so calm and peaceful when I came to visit her in early June. She insisted on fixing me a bowl of fresh berries and she fussed all over me and my brother. I wish I had met her more than that one time, though.

I'm sure we all wish that we could see her sweet face and feel her kind smile. But she died with her closest family, and she probably died with a smile.

Gracie, age 9
I am without proper words to truly express how profoundly Marian touched me. From the moment I met her I was, and will continue to be, inspired by her courage and fight to get the most out of her life and live it true to herself. Knowing Marian changed me in so many ways, from having the courage to hold my doctors accountable to finally taking Tai Chi, having my first-ever scoop of Mitchell's avocado ice cream and dress with a little more spunk. Even cancer could not touch her beauty or her spirit, and I will miss her so dearly. Dear, dear, Marian, may you float to peace on the feathers and strong wings of all our love.

Mary Love

Red Lava Cakes


To me, these pictures remind me of Red perfectly in her space - we (Red, Marilyn Lee and I) were making a batch of chocolate lava cakes (she would flush when she ate them - it may have been the most significant positive reaction to my cooking) and she let our dog Zuma lick the butter she was working with from her fingers when she thought nobody was watching...

Fortunately, my wife Dori was recording the process for posterity.

Best wishes,


Monday, July 13, 2009

Marian the Librarian

Marian, oh Marian
Was there ever a librarian?
With wit, wisdom, and such marvelous style
Who goes out in the world
Banner unfurled
Beaming love from her beautiful smile

Cathy Layton

Sunday, July 12, 2009


My cousin, Marian, you are one the most beautiful women I have ever known, both inside and out. You are truly missed. Thank you for being such a true inspiration.

Alexandre Garrett

"Who Made You the Fashion Police?"

My name is Chelsea. My mother, Lillian, was fortunate in being able to work briefly with Marian, for about a year, I believe, and in that time, I also befriended Marian.

I remember I was in junior high, and having a hard time with school and such. I hated junior high, but Marian always had words of wisdom and advice for me, to make it better, when kids were mean about anything. When it, in particular, concerned clothing, she had a saying for that: "Who made you the fashion police?" She always let me try on her clothes and shoes. In fact, I think there was one time, at one of her great parties, when I actually did like trying on her clothes and such. It was so fun to go visit her (when she lived in Dickinson, ND) and her three cats- Mac, Piglet, and I can't remember the third one's name (Wimpy, perhaps?)

My best memory of Marian is that she had this incredible fashion sense, incredible spirit, and was just an incredible person overall. She graced everyone's lives with her presence and she was, hopefully, never taken for granted. May she find peace and may the angels lead her in.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I work with Marian's father, Philly, and have come to know Wanda also. To know the type of people these two wonderful parents are is to get a glimpse of how wonderful and beautiful a daughter they rasied. I only met Marian one time, but feel as if I have known her forever through her father. I felt proud to see a woman smiling and BRIGHT through all the trials she has endured. Sleep peacefully, Marian, you deserve this rest!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Final Hours

Your grace,
So beautiful to see,
Moving through your final hours
Preparing for what will be

Your face,
Alight with love, a glow,
Teaches us about living ~
Each day, a gift, as you well know

We won’t hold you back
But you are too lovely to leave
Before the world has had enough of you,
Leaving us behind to grieve

Letting go is hard
Although you’re ready to move on
To a better place
Where your love will shine brighter
And exist in a state of grace

Cathy Layton, cousin

With One Foot in Each World

Marian embraced the world with her arms, loved fully, lived richly till the very end. She lived life with a capital “L”, taking each step of the journey with eyes open, with curiosity, with a lion’s courage. Life for her was a spiritual journey, and she continued on this path until her final moments of life. I like to imagine her hovering between life and death in the hours before she left, with one foot in each world, still reluctant to bid her loved ones goodbye, and then at peace, moving toward death, full of the wonder and curiosity. I don’t know what lies on the other side, but I am certain that, if it is possible, Marian is there in the realm of the eternal continuing her spiritual journey, a brilliant light…

I will carry her memory with me always,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Water Bowl Retreat 2008

My husband and I were so saddened to hear about Marian. She and I formed a very close bond during last year's Water Bowl Retreat at Vajrapani. I just adore her and am grieving her loss. We live in Huntington Beach, CA, so are unable to attend the memorial service, but our hearts are with everyone. Marian was so special to us, kind, loving, thoughtful, and incredibly giving. We had no idea how ill she was because she was always tending to others, giving back rubs and yoga stretches to ease our tired bodies. She will be greatly missed.

With much love and many prayers,
Sandi & Will Manson

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Most Sweet and Kind Heart

Marian was a most special friend. Though our actual time together was very brief we had an instant bond. I felt that ocean of love and kindness in her. Somehow I know that she could touch everyone in the same way. Pure nonjudgmental love. She had that and a most sweet and kind heart.

I will miss her so much, but I know that her soul never dies and she is now liberated from the limitation of the body, free to be among the great spirits that have visited and affected this world.

Much love.

Swami Murugananda
Chief Librarian
108 Yogaville Way
Buckingham, Va 23921
434 969 3121 ext 128