And perhaps it's this reason that it's taken me so long to write up her birthday post. I'm dong it today, a month late and past dating it and am still sitting here in tears. But OH SO VERY GRATEFUL that she joined our family.
Marissa in her daddy's arms.. Easter 1980
Marissa came and for so many years was this quiet, petite little thing. (See? She even fit perfectly in the little wagon she wanted. This finger pointing reminds me of her own boys.) Hated to be the spotlight child. Hated to be seen. Hated to have anyone make over her. She gravitated toward her Uncle Al Etzel which always seems strange. Al was a good man but a quiet man. Perhaps Marissa just related to Al in a way none of the rest of us did.
Swim team at Carousel ..bottom row.
But there was just too much of Marissa to be kept in a petite body, quiet body. By now she's 6 feet altho she insists she's 5 ft 11.5" Marissa grew to be as independent in thought and actions and everything is always BIG for her. Her paintings are big. Her thoughts are big and I fear her challenges are big, too. But I know she will hurdle them all.
Always loved her daddy and tried to do what he did. Playing the piano came pretty naturally to her and I have promised her my grandfather's grand when I die.
OhOh...beware the bbq grill as well as the AMC Gremlin...from where we got our family secret password back in the day (Gremhog).
Trying to comfort Robert while he tearfully, sobbingly attempted to get through the annual reading of The Littlest Angel Christmas Eve...but she's as big a crier as he is.
Marissa hated underwear as a wee one. Not sure why..not then, not now. I can remember being at a the SL Community Days Parade (hot July). There she sat on the curb in a cute cute cute sundress...but no panties! We were to go to the Gaspar's afterwards but first we had to go home and get her ensemble corrected. Today we laugh about it. Back then it was always a struggle.
Marissa wrote the most amazing books for Young Authors and I think she won an award each year she entered the contest. I was certain she would grow up to be an author/illustrator. I still have hopes of that. Marissa has the most amazing view on things. She IS where the wild things are...or maybe she IS the wild thing. And she's raising a house full of wild things, from her husband, Hank, down through Henry, Oskar, and Simon. And it's perfectly wonderful. And tiring. And exhilarating. And And And.
She was cast by Jocelyn in the most memorable FHE we had one year...Valentines Day And she is a sweetheart! Sharing love everywhere.
As Marissa aged out of childhood, her opinions grew stronger and she didn't really want my view of things, my way of things. That was hard to endure but it's life, right? She also never saw color in people, nor would she endure inequality in the races/sexes. (Here she is as a lifeguard at Lakeview Beach in Lorain, OH) She truly would have been comfortable in the 1960s but I am so grateful that she was saved for this time because I fear I would have lost her in that era.
With good friend Michelle Turman Meno...and yes, both are my instruments and no, we weren't home for this backyard fire.
Had to include this picture of the Nova she drove. In a short period of time she had 3 accidents and never really left our driveway. But the big one came (and the last one) on the way home from school one day, rear ending another student. Jordan learned to value using a seat belt that day. But as she waited for the cops, she turned to Jordan and asked, "Where do I go?" because I had told her if she had one more accident she couldn't come home. Not true but she knew I meant business. Just so glad she wasn't hurt.
Marissa never wanted to walk to the tune the rest of the world danced to. She was always going to cut her own path. She chose to attend Miami University altho I never knew why. It was way too yuppy of a school for her but perhaps it was a place that kept her safe for a time. After the first year, where she excelled, she determined it was too normal and opted to sign up for Western Campus of MU..some weird place (for me) of strange majors and stranger people. But we knew Marissa would succeed wherever, no matter what/how we felt. Funny thing that change...I don't think she lasted 2 weeks there. We got a call from her that announced not only did she not want to be on Western anymore but she had already taken the steps to change, move out and get back onto main campus. She got back into art and was amazing there. And not just on canvas...she used herself as canvas as well...and often
There's always fun when the 5 of them get together.
Marissa got a job teaching art in the Lorain School District as well as being a volleyball coach. When she married Hank she continued doing all this in Atlanta. When they moved to NYC and she became a mom, she really became a mom. She instills the love of art and freedom of expression in her boys. I am sure she will do the same in California altho I doubt they will stay there.
She supports her husband to such a degree...a degree that I could not begin to imagine nor match.
She was still living in Lakewood and one Sunday was able to tour our old home at 809 with her boys. Here she's showing Henry her secret spot in her bedroom, under the a loose floorboard...and yes, there are still the dust bunnies, broken pencils and whatnots that she left behind as she left children behind....but the memories linger on and are shared with the next generation.
I love her...I want so much for her...I am so glad she's mine. Happy Birthday Marissa. You are woman and you will continue to roar.