A Reflection Five Years After Mara's Death

Year five reflection:
I listened to a talk from Francis Chan recently where he tells the story of his friend Stan who was speaking at a memorial service. As Stan was finishing, he reiterated his main point which was that you never know when God is going to take your life. And at the moment that it happens, there is nothing you can do about it. Are you ready? After Stan finished, he sat down, fell over, and died in the middle of a memorial. Wow! What a way to go, I thought!!
And listening to this talk made me think of our wedding. Mara had a very clear vision for the theme, and it centered around Matthew 25. That passage is about the parable of the ten virgins, where half the virgins were ready when the bridegroom comes to let them into the wedding banquet with their lamps full. The other half were not ready. The parable alludes to Jesus’ return and living our lives in such a way so that we don’t have to “make things right” when he returns but are ready.
Today marks the 5th anniversary of Mara’s death. In some ways, this seems like a very short time. In other ways, it seems like several lifetimes ago. What has been made clear to me since her death is that our lives are very short in the scheme of things.
And what do I mean? Well, over the last few years, as I’ve been driving the kids to school during the winter months, we drive with the sun in our faces for a particular stretch of road. During this time, the steam from my coffee is particularly visible. I’ll put the lid on the mug and the steam goes away in several seconds. I take it off and the steam reappears. I put it back on, and it quickly goes again.
It’s almost a game between us now. But it allows us to talk about the meaning of Psalm 39 which says that the span of our lives is like a vapor – here and then gone. And we talk about, if this is true, what it means to live our lives well.
Like a vapor – here and then gone. It certainly seems that way with Mara’s life. She was here, then gone way too fast. But one thing I will say about Mara, and I think that people who knew her will agree, is that she lived the short life that she had to the fullest. And she lived in such a way that she was ready to die.
She lived it to the fullest not with thrill-seeking or grand adventures, but by appreciating the gift of a beautiful sunrise. By being present with the person in front of her. By speaking a kind word to the person in the room invisible to others. And by knowing and loving God like few others.
After Mara died, I found her journal where she was writing a prayer to God. She said, “I really want to be with you Lord, but I cannot imagine leaving David and the boys.” Thankfully, she did not have to make that choice.
Mara wasn’t perfect by any stretch. But she poured her life into people. She poured her life and love into me and the boys. And she raised the seed funds before she died to create a supplement company to get the good molecule in broccoli, sulforaphane, out to people who need it. The company that now bares her name: Mara Labs.
Mara’s was a life well lived. She was always ready. And she could sweetly but firmly ask the hard questions, which endearingly earned her the nickname of the velvet cinder block. Now, five years later, through space and time and through the thin veil between this life and the next, I still hear her voice asking and challenging me: “Are you ready?”

5 Comment

This is a beautiful tribute. Life is but a vapor.
So sorry for your families loss.

Thank you for this David. I had never seen a picture o Mara until now. Through tears, I read your reflections on her and the loss of your beloved wife and mother of your children. She was an incredible person as you describe her connection and selfless love for others and the Lord. The love of the Lord and his promise takes the “sting” out of the fear of death for me and many many others. I am so grateful to her for raising the “seed” money for BrocElite and all the good it has done for others. I am so sorry for you and your children’s loss. It is heartbreaking but as I have witnessed in your writings, you are a phenomenal father! I believe our loved ones who have passed never really leave us and she is proud of you, your dedication to your mission, and your family.

Thank you for sharing this message. Very touching and meaningful.

This was beautiful and challenging at the same time. Sorry that you and the boys lost this beautiful soulmate so early. Thank you for the work that you’re doing.

Hello David,
I am so deeply impressed reading these thoughts …
Now the “Mara” name as your company’s name ceased to be a mystery,
and suddenly unveiled its entire power that, probably, is guiding your steps from that “other world” that all of us are stepping towards …
It is so profoundly true that none of us knows in advance when will he/she be called to cross the “thin veil” between the two worlds … So, indeed, all that we can do is to do our best, each and every day, to be ready on the coming call …
I am sure that you are a wonderful father for your boys, continuing to also fulfill the emptiness behind Mara’s left … so, from that High Place among the Stars and Angels,
I am sure that she is now smiling down contently upon you all :):)

My parents also passed away on a September day … both on the 19th, 5 years apart … and they also left behind a kind of “child” … aka myself, although, I am not young
any more …

I just felt an inner desire to share with you my feelings on reading your blog, and, yes,
the desire to do my best to be ready when the bell will ring for me … probably very soon …

Now, that I understand where the “Mara-labs” name comes from, I can only hope that Mara’s desire to help people will “charge” its products with a magic power coming from behind the “thin veil” , to assist people in healing and feeling better :)

I would like to wish you and your family all the best, lots of health, physical and mental powers to overcome all difficulties and live the happy life of which Mara could have been so proud :)

Thanks a lot & Best Regards,
Iudith Mentzel
Haifa, Israel

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