I lost a friend yesterday. Not in the way I’ve talked about before, but to an ugly killer known as cancer.
Maryanne Tyson was a beautiful woman. Sparkling blue eyes that showed love and hope and a bit of mischief, too. Her heart was huge. She would listen to your woes, your foibles and your despairs and then love you wholeheartedly. She would help with whatever she could and be there in any need.
She taught those of us who knew her so much in the past couple of years. Just about a year ago, Maryanne’s daughter found a lump in her breast, at which time Maryanne admitted she’d felt one in each of hers for over two years and decided it was time to do something about it.
On October 14, 2008, her journey began with a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. November saw her losing her hair and dealing with the sickness that comes with the treatment, yet continually sharing her gratitude and faith.
Her last chemo treatment was in January of 2009 then a few months later she began radiation treatments. Once again, going into the journey with the most positive of attitudes.
The mischief showed up big time once she had recovered enough from her reconstruction surgery to return to church. She wore a shirt with a message that truly bespoke Maryanne’s attitude. I laughed till I cried!
Through all the treatment and weakness and sickness, Maryanne never lost that sparkle in her eyes or the mischief in her heart. Her smile was real and constant. Her faith was strong and just plain amazing.
Sometime in August, Maryanne returned to the doctor for a checkup and learned that there was some kind of anomaly in a lung that the doctors felt needed further testing. She went for the tests and only a couple weeks ago was told that she had lesions on her brain and in her liver. What we didn’t know was that this thing, this killer, that attacked her brain was vicious and intent on taking her. After only three radiation treatments, the doctors stopped that and told the family it was doing no good, in actuality the cancer was growing worse and they expected her to die anywhere from a day to a week from then. That was Tuesday, September 8, 2009.
Thursday, September 10, 2009 was her 67th birthday. It was also the day she met Jesus. She’s known Him for some time, by faith, but on this day, her earthly birthday, she walked into His presence, whole, healthy and happy. I will miss the talks across the counter as we share a task. I will miss the sparkle, the mischief and the laughter. And I know that one day, I will see her again and I’m betting the mischief will still be there.
Until then, I will miss my friend.
Maryanne was a member on Facebook and received many birthday wishes yesterday. I want to share those just to show what kind of woman she was.
You are and have been such an inspiration to me, the way God has used you in your weakest moments. I thank God everyday for putting you in my pathway the way He did. As each day passes, we never know what the time will bring, but you always reminded me that God’s in control. Don’t worry, just trust Him, you would say…. Thank you for showing me in more ways than one, how to trust God with everything. You are my HERO, and for that “Thank You”!!!!! My prayers are with you and Russ and all your family during such a difficult time, it’s my turn to share with them what you shared with me so many times before: Be still and know that I am God! Trust not in your own understanding, I will never leave you nor forsake you!! I AM GOD!!! Michelle R.
Happy Birthday, dear friend I am thinking of you and praying for you alot & just for you, Alyssa sends her biggest smile! You’ve been a huge joy to our family and I thank God for you. I hold you in my heart. Esther M.
Happy Birthday Maryanne! Even though we don’t know each other very well I do know that I love your smile and your sweet spirit! I am praying for you and God’s loving comfort surround you. Dianne W.
Happy Birthday Maryanne. My prayers are with you and your family. Best wishes. Geoff B.
Through your Faith and courage you have changed so many lives and are such an important part of the family at COTC! We all love you and your family! Happy Birthday Maryanne! Leon C.
Happy Birthday Maryanne, this morning as I pray for you I’m having a cup of coffee in your honor. Thank you for the moments we’ve shared especially with conversations about Shelby and Emma. God bless you, I love you. Sharon M.
Happy Birthday MaryAnn…I will always treasure that short time we had that day that we went to the Dr. How we laughed and joked…You are an inspiration to many especially to me! Love You so much! Debbie T.
Maryanne, I haven’t known you very long, but you have taught me so much. You have taught me that God is working no matter what is going on in my life. You have taught me that God hears a mother’s prayers for her children. You have taught me how a Godly couple should love and support each other. You have taught me that the richest blessing God gives us are family and friends. Happy Birthday, my dear Sister!! I know God has blessed you with an extra measure of His presence today. Rhonda W.