Sunday, October 14, 2007

a life, on paper

I think I only have a few more things to share about my friend marcie. Just two more entries dedicated to her. After that, she's someone I'll carry in my memory and heart, and she's someone I'll remember and celebrate with others who loved her.

For the past couple of weeks, a group of marcie's friends have been, with the blessing of her husband, working on an obituary for her. We wanted to run it in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, places she lived for some time. It ran today in Baton Rouge.

I looked at obituaries before trying to get some words on paper. I was struck by how many obituaries do not pay tribute to a person's life. They seem instead, to be marked by grief over the loss of a person. There's space and need for grief, but shouldn't an obituary - words on paper - celebrate and, as best as possible, capture who a person was - what a person's life was? I guess an obituary can't necessarily evoke every aspect of a human being, especially a person complex and dynamic. But it ought to at least try.

Here is what we wrote for and about marcie.

Clara Marciela Smith Marks
August 19, 1975 - September 29, 2007

Known to her loved ones as "Marcie," Clara Marciela Smith Marks was the beloved wife of Jeremy, devoted mother of Ezra and loyal friend to many. She was the youngest daughter of Melba and youngest stepdaughter of James Hollingsworth, all of whom survive her.

An artist all her life, she worked in the mediums of photography, jewelry and painting. Living in Cleveland, she coordinated and oversaw a children's art program and had begun graduate studies in the craft of filmmaking. Marcie's Tex-Mex roots and South Louisiana sensibilities echoed in her work and personality.

Passionate, colorful and nurturing, she was a self-possessed woman who loved fiercely and unconditionally. Marcie's smile lit up a room. Her laugh was infectious. Her day-to-day presence, a kind of feline force, was matchless. Her sharp wit, immeasurable sense of fun, artistry and protective nature, at every age, drew in and commanded people.

She was not a woman to succumb to challenges or adversity. She demonstrated her strength in the way she lived, from age 23, with the heartbreaking loss of her sister, Marisa Smith.

Her nurturing qualities manifested more meaningfully when she bore Ezra, who, from infancy, was her spitting image. At every stage, she felt proud, delighted and amazed by him. She expressed this awe when she looked at him and when she spoke of him.

Marcie was equally grateful for Jeremy. When she told of first meeting him at a French Quarter pub where she bartended, you could see in her expression what resembled a schoolgirl crush. It was a story she enjoyed retelling – how he pursued her though at first she tried to write him off. In the telling, her voice revealed that she was charmed both by him and by her own capacity to love this man.

A memorial service was held on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007, at The Unitarian Church in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Arrangements were made by Tabone-Komorowski Funeral Home, (440) 248-3320. A memorial service will be held in Baton Rouge in December. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Ezra Marks Educational Fund, Account 2736805900, Chase Bank, 5400 Mayfield Road, Lyndhurst, OH 44124.

Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and artist. Blue-eyed, blonde-headed, robust and feisty energy. Family and friends are grateful to have been marked by Marcie.

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