About six months ago I met Jennifer McCabe Marino through a recovery group on Facebook. We exchanged posts and she became a friend, a member and faithful listener of www.herewomentalk.com and in particular of my show THIS IS YOUR LIFE: Courage to Change. She would often jump on the chat line during the show and drop nuggets of encouragement and kindness. Not once did she even mention her poor health, or exhibit a victim mentality, although she certainly had the right too.
I only learned of the severity of her liver disease through another FB friend about a week ago. Her sister Jeanne was asking for friends to come and sit with Jennifer during this difficult time. Immediately I asked if I could come to pray and support Jennifer like she had been supporting me.
Friday morning, I gave Jeanne a call to let her know I was on my way to visit Jennifer. She informed me that Jennifer had slipped into a coma and was unresponsive: I got there even faster.
Upon arrival, I could feel the love and care being administered in that home before I walked through the door. Jeanne, a beautiful woman, full of grace, ushered me downstairs. As I entered the room where Jennifer lay, again the comfort and compassion in this home overwhelmed me; pastel walls, beautiful décor and a woman extremely frail and unconscious lay tucked into a cocoon of pillows and crisp sheets. Jeanne and I spoke briefly, and she left me for a few minutes of time with Jennifer. During this time I held her hand and read several Psalms and Scripture. The presence of the Lord was so evident and the atmosphere so peaceful.
Moments later, Jeanne appeared with the Hospice nurse, we all spoke for few moments, prayed together and I began to leave, telling Jeanne that I would call in the morning and come back to visit Jennifer.
Jennifer McCabe Marino died that evening. Little did I know that the first time I met Jennifer would be my last.
There is a great lesson to be learned here. It is easy to embrace people on the internet whether on Facebook or on the radio chat line and never really comprehend that they are individual people, with lives and feelings and situations. And just because people don’t advertise their difficulties doesn’t mean they don’t have any; it just displays true humility.
The Bible says to think of others more highly than ourselves; that is what Jennifer McCabe Marino imparted into my life, and for that I will remain forever grateful.