My Friend Libby's Son, Warren

This has been a sad week for all of us who know Libby and her son Warren.  He has been semi-separated from his wife, Marla, for close to two years but went everyday to help her with her invalid mother or to fix anything she needed fixing. He was constantly called over there to either take her mom to the doctor, to work on somebody’s car, or something else.  That’s why I said semi-separated, because she wouldn’t leave him alone. He is one of the kindest, most caring men I have ever known.
The first time I met her, I was struck by how sweet and friendly she seemed! But I soon found out that she seemed to have two personalities. As Warren put it, she would be smiling and happy one minute and the next minute fly into a rage.
About two years ago, Jenny, her only daughter, who was one of the most gorgeous girls I have ever seen, was found dead one morning at a  friends house, from a drug overdose. She had a two year old little girl that Warren and Marla were raising. Jenny was Warren’s step-daughter. Jenny’s dad was from Texas. He came for Jenny’s funeral and took the little girl back to Texas with him.
So, that was a double whammy for Marla. Marla tried to take her own life once before that and I imagine all of that worked against her. She put a gun in her mouth and as Warren struggled with her to get the gun it went off. It shot through her mouth and took her left eye out and messed up her mouth pretty bad too!
A few days ago, Warren went to the home to take Marla’s mother and nephew to JCPenney’s to buy the boy’s school clothes! He tried to call Marla’s cell phone several times  but couldn’t get an answer. As they arrived at home at about 5:30 p.m. a Police car pulled up. He told them they found Marla lying across her daughter’s grave. She had shot herself in the heart!
Today they had a memorial service for her. At the funeral home , there was a video of her  life. She was a beautiful girl before her life went so tragically wrong; when she was in high school, when she was a young bride, and as a young mother with her baby in her arms, then later, as she looked, after her face was messed up. But the thing that struck me, she was smiling and seemed happy on all of the pictures.
None of us know what may be going on in someone else’s life. We ought to reach out more and try to ease as many burdens as is possible. It may just be with a smile , or a pat on a back, or saying “I love you ” more than we do.
My nephew Rev. Jerry Millwood, my sister Edith’s son, was called on to conduct the service. I was so proud of him. They tell me that a funeral in which someone has taken their own life is one of the hardest funerals to preach. He did a super job! I was so proud of him. The family also had one of Warren and Marla’s best friends to sing and play the piano. He is a full blooded, honest to goodness, Indian chief. He had a long ponytail and was one of the  most distinguished looking men I have ever seen. He made that piano seem to come alive. It sure wasn’t your normal dreary sad funeral music. That’s the kind of stuff I want done at my funeral.
I noticed that Warren kept his arm around his mother-in-law the entire time. He was continually patting her on her shoulder. She was seated in a wheelchair beside him. My heart just ached for them!
I went over to Marla’s mother and introduced myself to her before the service. She said “Oh! You’re Peggy.  Marla talked about you all the time and said she could talk to you all day long”. I gave Marla some flowers and she said Marla watered those flowers everyday. That just touched my heart so much. It also made me wish I had tried to do more.
There’s an old hymn that asks “Where could I go but to the Lord?” That is what I ask myself in the hard times. It is so wonderful that we have a Heavenly Father who watches after His children, not only in bad times like this but also in the good times. It seems that the older I get the more I love Him. One of the prayers I pray is “Lord, I want to love you more”. My prayer also is that people can see Him in my life so that I may be able to reach out to people like Marla.  She was hurting so bad  and just couldn’t see any other way out. God knows our hearts and MINDS and He is a just God. My prayer is that Marla is at peace and safe in the arms of Jesus.

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