My Sister Marsha – The Bravest Person I Know



I want to write about one of the bravest people I know and one of the people I admire most in my life. Her name is Marsha. She is my sister. Not by blood but by heart. 


Her youngest brother and I were college dorm mates and we became fast friends.  I was far away from my home island living in Utah.  Because of costs I could not travel home for the holidays and vacations. So his family kind of adopted me in many ways. It has been one of the great blessings of my life.


This is how I met Marsha.  We first bonded over Jello.  People in Utah sure love their Jello. They really get creative with it. Back home in Guam, Jello was a dessert you had with whipped cream. In Utah, it can be the main course!




Marsha liked to put shredded carrots in her Jello. I never saw that before in my life. It actually looked strange to me and kind of nauseated me. Of course, I commented about it. When you comment in that household you better be prepared to defend yourself because there is counterpoint, especially about Jello. Needless to say, I have learned to like Jello prepared in many different ways over the years (and I even like Jello with shredded carrots). But most of all, I love my sister, Marsha.


Marsha recently learned that her cancer has returned. She has taken the bull by the horns and is aggressively finding different ways to combat it. I am awed by her determined drive to fight it. She has such strength. She is my hero.


My heart is heavy because of all people who do not deserve such a trial; Marsha really should not have this one.  However, cancer is no respecter of persons. It is a cold monster in its random selection of its victims.


I have seen this lady struggle with pretty big trials in her life. She basically raised her sons as a single parent. She really worked on her marriages.  She gave them her all but they did not work out. Some have judged her less and seen them as failures, but I saw a woman with a real belief in love and a willingness to give it another try. She tried to see the best in others and to her credit gave them the opportunity to live up to it.


She suffered under the hand of thoughtless men who should have honored her and loved her. They will never know how much they lost by betraying her trust in them. They ultimately lost out in having a wonderful woman who would have brought such love to them for the rest of their lives.


Marsha worked so hard to raise her sons the best way she knew how to do it.  There were so many of her own relatives who seemed so critical of her.  However, the real testament to her motherhood is seeing her adult sons now…all good grown up adult men.  I hope they appreciate their mom. I hope that they spend less time being judgmental of her and spend more time just really enjoying her. They have such a wonderful legacy in her.


Marsha is the strong one of her family. I wonder if she knows that. She sees things so clearly and is able to cut through all the bull. Sometimes it is not what people may want to hear but it is always coming from a true place.   I can totally be myself with her without fear of judgment-only love.


I am writing all this because I am rooting for her to beat this cancer and because I feel so helpless. I wish there was so much more I can do to get that sickness out of her body. I want to be that Hero that can swoop down and save her from the dragon.   


Marsha, I am here for you.  Gary is here for you.  My heart is so full right now because I have a sister who I cherish so much and no words are sufficient to describe that feeling.





4 thoughts on “My Sister Marsha – The Bravest Person I Know

  1. Jp, thank you. You always touch my heart. I love you and Gary so much and you betcha baby, I’m gonna kick the big C’s butt!!! Thanks for your love and support and happy phone calls. Laughter really is the best medicine! So keep the laughter coming. Love you both, M

  2. By the way, lemon jello with shredded carrots and pineapple was a family thanksgiving tradition…that has since died. AND you are already one of my heros!

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