To say that she was the “wind beneath my wings” would be an understatement. Almost an insult.
While I was the young wannabe “pillar of the community” running a local radio station, traveling around the world with musicians, and serving on a variety of boards, committees and commissions, someone had to keep the home fires burning. Our four wonderful kids and our nine delightful grandchildren are a testament to Marcia’s incredible parenting skills.
Once the kids started growing up and the radio stations were history, Marcia Tjapkes sprouted her own wings. A registered nurse with innate medical skills, she went on to become one of the early certified hospice nurses in our county. She was a natural for that position, and for years provided compassion and assistance to men and women, along with their loved ones, in the final chapters of their lives.
After that she obtained another certification and became the first Parish Nurse in her church. Having earlier served as the church’s first female elder, she was well aware of the many ways a Parish Nurse could be of invaluable assistance.
While the late Maurice Carter gets the credit for the idea, and while I get the credit for its founding, I think it’s safe to say that there wouldn’t be a HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS had it not been for Marcia’s perceptive medical skills. She arguably saved Maurice’s life while he was still in prison.
Maurice was unaware that he was in the final stages of Hepatitis C...prison doctors never bothered to inform him that he had the disease. Then, one day he had a serious medical emergency in his cell, and his bunkie called our house. Marcia accepted the collect call, and immediately recognized the symptoms. Healthcare had already given Maurice some aspirin and returned him to his cell. Marcia insisted that his roommate get emergency assistance stat. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance, and his life was saved.
Only God knows how many lives she touched in her own quiet way. Family and friends are well aware of how she touched our lives.
The last years of her life became difficult and complicated, as she lost both physical and mental capabilities.
That all ended late Saturday night when the message of Easter was no longer just a beautiful Bible story...it became a reality!
What a life! What a woman! What a wife! What a mother!
RIP, Sweetie. Te Amo! I’ll see you soon.