Friday, July 13, 2012


I just recieved 4 hours of sleep, because Marsi needs medicine now every four hours, day and night.  I haven't slept more then 12 hours in the past 72, due to the curcumstances of my life right now, but that is OK.  I will take the time later to catch up on my sleep, though my family worries. Time to me now is a luxory and Marsi has so needed me to spend it with her these past few days. 

I think time is a precious gift for each of us to use as we see fit.  It is not infinite for us and it is, by some, expendable, but how should we use our time.  I am told that an average adult needs 8 hours a day of sleep to function normally.  That is a third of our day and that only leaves 16 hours of time in a day to use and enjoy.  So how should we spend our time, when we only have 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, and 672 hours in a month. 

Six hundred seventy two hours ago,  Marsi was still undergoing chemotherapy and had high hopes that the cancer could be managed and a normal life would still be reached.  A new symptom had arrose, where the cancer had spread to her abdominal cavity and draining procedures were started, but overall hope was high and life went on with all the normalcy you muster, living with cancer.

One hundred sixty eight hours ago, Marsi's brother and his family arrived from Portland to spend some time with her. She was so happy, time seemed unlimited, though she was nervous about an upcoming surgery for her catheter and how it would make her feel.

Twenty four hours ago, I remember saying "I love you", as I normally would, everynight, for the past 18 years.  I then closed my eyes to sleep, happy to be next to her, knowing she was safe.  The last thing I remember was Marsi looking at me with that beautiful smile, the one I had seen so many times before, taking it for granted now as a normal close to my day.

A few hours later, time stopped.  It stopped being normal.  It stopped being a friend.  It stopped being wanted.

For lack of a better word, Marsi is now trapped.  Trapped by a body ravaged by cancer and a body too tired to go on.  Her mind is still working and screaming to live, but it can't find a way to comunicate anymore. Her body has failed. 

Marsi awoke a few hours after going to bed.  Eyes wide, mouth open, calling for help.  Nothing could come out, nothing was happening, her body no longer cooperating.  Pain and malfunction is what has taken over, so Hospice and family are now in charge of her, as well as me.  Pain meds are being given to her in liquid form now and Marsi sleeps.  Between pain meds, we get an occational word or sentence. Love is exchanged and tears are plenty, but the pain is too intense for her, so these moments are truly seconds as she drifts away, back into the landscape of her dreams.  My heart hurts now because I so need to keep her close.  To hold her. To watch her breath. To just be with her.  But I must be strong, so my heart is broken, because I know it is time for her to go, needing her to suffer no more.  Now is the time for her go to heaven and I must find a way to survive.

Marsi has always been the stong one, as her battle with cancer has proven.  She would tell you right now not to cry or grieve for her, but to live and hold true to making memories in your life.  Love, kiss, laugh and dance.  Make moments with each other everyday and enjoy the best of your time.



  1. I wish there were words that I could give, to offer something. I wish I could turn back the clock. Marsi has been amazingly strong and an amazing fighter, but Steve you are too. The weight of everything has been placed squarely on you, and you have met that challenge head on, with love and compassion and determination to be a rock for Marsi and the kids. You are a blessing to many. I can't fathom the pain you are feeling, but I know you will persevere, and you have a lot of friends and family by your side. All my love

  2. Dear Steve, Thank you for your precious gift of this post. Marsi lives in our hearts forever and has blessed and taught us so much. We are here for you and your family. Please let us know how we can help. Love, Cathy, Dan, Grant and Marisa

  3. Thanks for taking the time to help us know better what you are going though Steve. Your beautifully written post helps us feel a little closer to you as you help Marsi through this transition. Your and Marsi’s strength, courage and endurance are amazing. I love that you remain focused on what matters most, cherishing every hour, minute and second together. Your love for Marsi shines bright. It’s beautiful. Please remember you are surrounded by so many people that care about you and your family. It’s a gift to us when you let us help you so please let us know how we can lighten your load. How will you be able to go on without Marsi? I don’t know. I do know you have extraordinary children and together you will grow even stronger and closer and you will find a way. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  4. These word pictures you so beautiful paint are simply....amazing. Rebecca

  5. Steve and Marsi,
    I cannot even begin to imagine the anguish your hearts feel. I so wish there was something we could all do or say to ease the pain that you are all feeling. All I know how to do is pray. And that is what I will continue to do. I, and my family, pray for peace, for grace and for freedom from the pain. Continue to take care of each other and know you are loved.

  6. I love that you are writing, your words are so pure and filled with love. Your wife is an amazing force that has touched so many lives. We are all so blessed to have the both of you in our lives. From this, may we all learn to live our life to the utmost fullest and cherish every one and every day we are given.

    Love you Steve!

  7. Steve...Sending lots of love and peace and praying for all of you. Lean on your faith and one another. Thank you for letting us know what is going on and know that Michael and I are there in spirit with you and your family. Please tell Ms. Marce that I love her. Chris xoxoxoxoxox

  8. Marsi, there were times that you complimented me on my writing. I was thrilled that someone so creative and adept at inspiring others through words and images could find value in the shallow pond of writing that I attempted from time to time. I sit here in my office with some beautiful pictures of you and the Foundation team, and thank you again for your gift to me of that framed piece that holds so many memories of our work life together. Marsi, your smile, vivacious fun and generous spirit is always around us and always will be. I see now that writers are poets of the heart, as you, and now Steve, have so tenderly and equolently shared with us. Please know I am thinking of you every day, sending caring and the most loving thoughts your way. Jean

  9. Thank you!
    Thank you for taking care of my friend
    Thank you for being strong
    Thank you for loving her unconditionally
    Thank you for dealing with all her crazy friends
    Thank you for sharing these last couple days with us so we too can hold her hand
    Thank you for encouraging us to tell her how we felt
    Thank you for showing us what love is really like
    Thank you for reminding us that life is not guaranteed

    You have been a rock, but please know that we are here for you and you can call us day or night.
    We love not only Marsi but you and the kids!

  10. Continuing to pray for all of you. It seems so little to be able to offer you during this time but know that you are not alone and being lifted up. May God's peace surround your family- Julie

  11. Steve,

    Your words are beautiful and a reflection of the beautiful love you and your bride share. We are blessed to know your family and share in small ways your journey. You are a remarkable man Steve. God bless you and your family during this difficult time and beyond. Dawna & Dennis.

  12. Marsi and Steve-
    Please know that you and the kids are loved.
    Amy W.

  13. Dear Steve,

    I never had the privilege of meeting you, but I worked with Marsi at the hospital for several years. I have never met a woman with more courage and love for her family than Marsi. She embraced every day with joy and wonder - and encouraged all those around her. She is one of the most selfless people I've known. You are so strong and loving in your support for her. You and your children are everything to her. I hold all of you in my prayers and in my heart.

  14. Steve, our love to you and the children. I have only kept up with Marsi through FB and this blog since the boys started different middle schools. I am happy Marsi gets to rest now. I'm deeply sorry for you loss. Her big smile will be missed.
    Paola Meyers

  15. That is beautiful Steve. Marsi will truly be missed, but never forgotten. Love to you and the kids.

  16. Steven: We have never met. I am a friend of Amy Romero and she has told me of Marsi and her struggles, as well as yours. I cannot tell you how to feel, nor how to grieve, when that time comes, only to tell you to remember your dear Marsi as a part of you that will live on in your heart, in your memories. You will smell her, hear her, feel her and at first it will be difficult, but as time heals (and it will), those senses will give you comfort, even a smile or two as you remember the good times. From what Amy has told me, you have been a rock for your family during this time, though you may feel otherwise. God will take you through this and give you unbelievable strength when you think you have no more. May you eventually rest in the knowledge that you were Marsi's rock when she needed it most.

    Sarah Moser
    Clarkdale, AZ

  17. Marsi will be deeply missed but will always be remembered and hold a special place in my heart. You both have been so strong throughout this fight. Prayers for you, the kids, and your families.
    Love, Lynn, Tim and Logan

  18. Steve,
    You are in our prayers...we are grateful to have known Marsi through school with your children. Thank you for being strong and sharing your story. It brings realty to light for many....cherish family, time and and each other. I always admired the relationship she had with her children and with you.
    With Warm Regards,
    Linda, Tasi, and Jonah

  19. Steve, I am so sorry about your family's painful loss. Marsi was such an amazing soul. Even as she fought, her light shined through so strongly. I can only thank God for the short time she was on this earths and that we got to share with her. We will continue to pray for you and your family.

    Much Love,
    Alex, Wendy, Ethan and Audrey

  20. Boy, do you (Marci) have a voice. You have touched a universal nerve. Prayers for you and your family.

  21. Very Sad....My Prayers Go Out To The Family Of Marsi, Especially Her Husband Steve And 2 Children. Looking At Her FB & Seeing All Her Pictures Really Brought Tears To My Eyes And So Did This Post. Honestly I Didn't Even Know Her But My Heart Hurts! :( RIP Marsi, May The Lord Keep You In His Loving Care.

  22. We don't know each other but through the tears streaming downy face, I feel compelled to tell you thank you for your beautiful blog. I am an old travel Nurse friend of your sister.
    My daughter was born almost 2 years ago, on aug 25th, 6 weeks early with Stage IV, congenital Neuroblastoma. She had 8 rounds of chemo starting on day 3 of life. Though she has significant collateral damage and daily challenges, we are blessed and ever so grateful to have this little spitfire in our lives. Thank you for reminding me of the fragility and blessing that is life. Now that we're "on the other side" with over a year NED and 2 toddlers under 4 to raise, it's easy to forget how difficult things once were.
    Again, thank you for the reminder and god bless you and your family.

    With love and prayers,
    Jennifer Drennan

  23. Your pain and grief are palpable, but so is your and Marsi's strength. It was beautiful to see the compassion and kindness your sharing, of these very personal and difficult times, inspired. I too am a nurse and know how very blessed Marsi was to have you in her life. Prayers continue to go out for you and your family.

  24. Steve, you and the kids are in our thoughts and prayers. I believe that Marsi is dancing in heaven with the angels. She will be missed but never forgotten. Love always, The Dean Family

  25. Steve
    You are an amazing man, full of love, compassion, kindness, understanding and strength. Marsi's passing is hard to swallow, however you made the inevitable precious. We are blessed to have known Marsi and are praying for you and your beautiful children as each day passes. Thank you for taking us on Marsi's amazing journey.
    Love, Greg, Patti, Devon & Faith Fox

  26. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. I've tried, since I read the post this morning, to try to come up with words that make any sense - but I have none. It has been a gift Marsi had given so many people - this blog, and an extreme honor to have had the fortune to know her. I cannot say that I know it's hard, because it is unimaginable. However, the love you both have shared with each other is palpable as you showed the world here, in this space. May the strength and preserverence you all have shown, with such grace and beauty help to carry you and the kids through the coming days. Christy, Kieran, Sarah and Nate Moloney

  27. Steve & kids,
    Marsi was an amazing woman! We are so blessed to have known her. We will be praying for you, that God's comforting arms will wrap around you in this time of need. She is in heaven now with a NEW body, without pain!
    We love you and are praying for you!
    The Fields Family

  28. Dear Steve,
    No words can express how saddened I am to hear about Marsi's passing. Marsi is a very special soul - there is no one like her. I am privledged for having the opportunity to work with her and to have known her. Her kindness and her love for her family was second to none and she will always be a bright spot in the universe. Please know that your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Your friend, Caroline Oblack

  29. Steve, my heart and prayers are with you and your children. Michael Bracken

  30. So saddened to hear about your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. She leaves behind her beautiful smile and positive attitude for friends and family to remember in our memories. She is now out of pain and rejoicing in heaven.

  31. Steve, thinking of you, Madison and Harrison today. You are in my thoughts and prayers, please let me know if there is anything you need, or anything I can do for you.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Steve, I used to take care of Harrison and Madison at the child care center. Marsi was one of those moms that caregivers can never forget. It was more than evident that she loved you and your children so very much. My heart breaks for you and your family. My family will be praying for your family.

  33. Dear Steve,
    I will pray each and everyday for the ease of your pain. Marsi is at Peace and her legend will live on.

  34. Steve,
    You and your beautiful children will be in my thoughts and prayers. Marsi was a beautiful person with the best smile, and I feel honored to have known her. I thank you both for allowing me the gift of caring for your precious little ones at Children's when they were just babies. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Marlena Weldon

  35. I don't know either of you but your post found its way to me in Richmond via Jennifer Lemons. You ate in my prayers!

  36. Dear Steve and family, I worked with Marsi White at RCHSD for many years and I was very sad to hear of her passing. Marsi did incredible work for the Hospital. Her writing, proposals and budgets raised many thousands of dollars for children in San Diego. She touched more people than she was even aware of. Your children should be so proud of their Mommy! Her RCHSD family will miss her dearly. Amy Gecan (Hovda)