Monday, December 16, 2013 Natalie Marti

I am honored to write a few words about an amazing woman that touched my life in the short six years I knew her.  A few months after Ryan and I began dating, his sweet, amazing mother sincerely said, “We are crossing our fingers it works out with you and Fred.”  What?  I couldn’t believe someone that hardly knew me could be so supportive of me dating her son and hoped it would end up in marriage someday.  I am sure she had no idea how much those words meant to me.  I couldn’t believe I had her support and she trusted me when we had only met a few times.  Her favor meant so much and I am grateful to be accepted and loved by her.  Marlene always made me feel I was a part of the family from the very beginning and wasn’t afraid to sign the beautiful Christmas and birthday cards from “Mom OX- OX.”  This amazing woman took me into the family and loved me as if I was a part of it.  She told me I was her daughter even if I am not an official daughter-in-law yet.  The love she gave me and showed me through gifts and notes are treasures to me.  She took time out of her very busy life to make sure I knew that she loved me.  I always felt very welcome and at home being in her house. 

I loved going to family get togethers at the Terry house.  I was in awe how Marlene could work hard all day, keep an immaculate clean house, and have the family over for the fun she had planned.  She never acted stressed or put-out.  She had the biggest smile on her face and had as much fun as we did as the guests.  She had an amazing gift of treating you like she had all the time in the world for you.  You would have no idea what a busy life she led. 

Marlene planned and put together GOW (Girls Only Weekend).  She invited her four daughters, two granddaughters, her daughter-in-law (who unfortunately couldn’t come) and me.  I was thrilled I was included in this weekend of fun in Utah with the Terry women.  It made me feel I was truly one her girls. We went to a mall and spent some time in quite a few stores.  In one of them, Marlene held a shirt up to me and said it would fit me great and look excellent on me.  I was very excited.  I tried it on over my shirt and it felt a little tight in the sleeves.  I tried the next size up, and Marlene said, “That’s way too big.  Get the first one and I will let out the sleeves for you a bit.”    The shirt holds a special memory for me now.  After Marlene passed away, I was over at her house and saw the shirt folded neatly in her laundry room with the sleeves fitting me perfectly.  Thank you Marlene! 

Marlene and Verl raised eight remarkable kids.  They raised not only a son I love, but a family I love.  They embody their mother.  Ryan inherited many amazing qualities from his talented mother- generosity, kindness, unselfishness, loving, fun, hilarious, great looks, amazing writer, quick wit, and many, many others. 

I remember the first time I called Marlene’s cell phone and anticipated the usual boring ring I hear each time I make a phone call.  That is not what I heard!  I heard music playing the theme song from X-Files.  I thought, “What a cool woman!”  I am grateful for the six years I had the privilege of knowing Marlene and to find out she is much more than just a cool woman I thought she was.  She was a dedicated wife, mother, and daughter of God.  She gave her all to all that she did. I admired her determination and perfection 

I didn’t have in common a love for all of the same things Marlene loved such as Star Trek, space, birds, etc,- but I do love her son and have that in common with her.  I promise to Marlene to take care of him for the rest of my life.  I didn’t get as much time with her as I planned, but she touched and inspired me in the six years she was a part of my life that has changed me.  Thank you “Mom”!  I love you and look forward to being with you again!  Your "Nat"