April 11, 2013

Letter: Willisa made a difference and touched many people’s lives

Editor’s note: Willisa Harriet Marsh of Dalton passed away on April 2.

I know that Willisa Marsh lives on both eternally and in the lives of so many people that she touched. I have heard story after story of what a difference Willisa made from both young and old.

I am one whose life has been changed because of Willisa. You see, Willisa is a continuation of a deep and abiding love expressed in a friendship, a friendship that began in the early 1970s on a Southern college campus between two students — one an African-American and the other Caucasian. Two students with different backgrounds and different views of the world but one in the same when it came to seeing beyond what our vision allows us to see. Yes, seeing into the heart and the soul of a person and becoming one in a spirit of friendship. A oneness that allows the joy and the hurt in one person to be felt by the other.

And there is no greater sorrow than to have a family member, especially a child, depart from this life before we do. But we too will be leaving on that same train to eternity one day — yes, we all shall depart from this life as we know it. And when we do, we pray for those who we leave behind. We will leave the burden of this life and the chains that we sometimes find our bodies bound by as we enter the love of Jesus who awaits to rejoice with us.

And so it is with my life after Willisa’s departure — I am reminded that life is precious, life is a gift, and we can be a blessing to someone every day if we are willing to open our eyes and look beyond ourselves.

Yes, Willisa has departed, but she lives on in the lives of everyone that she touched. You ask, besides yourself, who might that be? Just count the stars every night for the rest of your life and you will have a number that is close.

Jag Gholson