When I think of Marybeth Walsh, I think of sunshine. She radiated beautiful energy. Even her hair, her curly blond mane, seemed charged with happiness. This was a woman with a big, open heart and a beautiful smile. Every memory I have of her relates to her giving of herself and believing in the best.
Marybeth died on March 20 and will be deeply missed.
Marybeth, a holistic health coach with My Whole Self, wrote one of the first guest posts on this blog last spring, “One Step at A Time in the Path of Life.” She was always willing to share about her experience with cancer and with healing. In early January of this year, she came down with pneumonia on a trip to see her mom in Florida. When a recurrence of leukemia was discovered, she was airlifted to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore where she remained until she passed, on the first day of spring.
When I visited her in the hospital in early February, she shared how surreal the whole experience had been. She was still optimistic and hopeful, but she was frustrated with the tremendous swelling she experienced in her legs and feet and with having not been outside for a month. Still, she had her vision board up with lots of inspiring words and images, including this one:
I love the idea of her being held by a force greater than all of us. And of her smiling.
I was so pleased that she drank down all the green juice and ate almost all the lentil soup I brought! Then she showed me and another friend – slowly and using a walker – around the facility and enjoyed the diverse art on the walls. We talked of exploring more the next time we visited.
I regret that there was not a next time. Between snow, sniffles one can’t take with her to visit a person with cancer, and my own health challenges, I didn’t get up to Baltimore again before Marybeth died. I’m so grateful I had that day with her, and I’m grateful to Marybeth’s family for surrounding her with love and keeping her extended network updated through her Caring Bridge site.
I’m also grateful for her love. She didn’t know me well but was such a supporter of everything I did, coming to last year’s Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria 5-year anniversary and giving away a free consultation in our silent auction, speaking at Holistic Moms twice, listening to me and my health woes when I ran into her at the grocery store and at a health expo, and then taking the time to write for this site.
There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 27 at Del Ray United Methodist Church.
I’m hoping I can take to heart the words Marybeth closed with in her post from last spring, “One Step at a Time in the Path of Life”:
“Life is truly a journey, not always straight up, but in a series of peaks and valleys. I think it’s the obstacles and challenges that help us grow and appreciate the goodness in life. What I now know and can share is that we always have a choice, not always with the external situations that hit us, but how we choose to accept them. That being in the present moment, whatever it is, is life. It’s the little things we do each day, our practices, our relationships, and our mindset, that help us navigate the way, guiding us one step at a time.”