Here at Power of Moms we talk a lot about what it means to be a deliberate mother, and we know that each of you come to this site searching for hope, ideas, and resources that will help you to become the mother you want to be.
Today we have a special message for you about one of our Power of Moms team members, Marianne Anderson, who was truly an example of what it means to be a deliberate mother. Last week Marianne passed away unexpectedly due to complications from pneumonia, leaving behind her dear husband and two sons. As we’ve reflected on her life, we have been so inspired by her example, we wanted to share her light with you.
Here are a few thoughts about Marianne from some of the Power of Moms team:
From Christy Elder:
Marianne was my best friend’s older sister, so I got to know her a bit as a teenager. Just following my first year of college, Marianne contacted me and asked if I would consider applying for an RA (Resident Assistant) position at Brigham Young University. She was a hall adviser and they needed more RA’s. Somehow, miraculously, I got the job.
Marianne coached me through a difficult year. My job was to help and mentor an entire floor of freshman girls. She was always there to lend an ear, give advice, laugh with us, cry with us. She taught me how to help others, love others, and move beyond struggles and problems to truly love a person. She helped me see others potential. She helped me see myself in a more positive light, taught me about true friendship, fun, and set an example of the kind of marriage I wanted to have.
Marianne always looked for ways to help others. She was the first to come up with a way to help and didn’t sit around and wait to be asked. She was a devoted mother, a loving sister, a lovely, caring wife, and a friend I will never forget. That year she introduced me to the song “For Good” from the musical Wicked. Near the end of the year, the RA’s sung that song to her, each of us feeling that because we knew her, we were changed for the better. Marianne was always, unfailingly kind. She could always see the good in others. She cared desperately about her family. She and her husband, Ryan, made a wonderful team! She has two beautiful sons, and she cherished being their mother!
Marianne loved Power of Moms. She considered motherhood to be a noble calling and loved the idea of assisting moms worldwide to be their best selves and the best mother they could possibly be. She had asked me several times over a period of months if there were ways to help. When April and Saren said they needed someone to help with the Facebook team, she was the first person I thought of!
She was incredibly dependable in every way—no matter what she was working on, I knew she’d be a great help! She wasn’t able to help with Power of Moms as long as she would have liked, and honestly was very sad to go, but she felt that it was important that she continue with her health coaching. She was a hard worker and loved to help others, so it was a great fit for her!
Marianne was an angel here on earth—she was ALWAYS (and I MEAN ALWAYS) concerned for others. She will be most desperately missed by her family and friends. I miss my dear, dear friend!
From Elsje Denison:
Marianne will be greatly missed. I have been inspired by her dedication to her sons and her husband. She is a wonderful example to me of someone who dealt with personal trials and yet marched on with a smile on her face to try and make this world a better place. God bless her sweet family. We hope you know she has blessed all of our lives for the better.
From Danielle Porter:
When I worked with Marianne for the Power of Moms Facebook group, she was super on top of things and very creative with her planning for posts…it was fun and easy to work with her. We got to a point where she needed to pull out and I loved her words. Here are a few thoughts she shared at the time. To me they really demonstrate that she was a super deliberate mother:
“I LOVE Power of Moms and all that it stands for. I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to share something I believe in with other moms who are trying to make a positive difference in the world. I’m at a spot in my life where I have to focus on some priorities that require a lot of attention, and I’ve been trying to figure out where my involvement with Power of Moms fits. This situation has been brought on by a few developments since I decided to volunteer for Power of Moms. As much as I love being a part of the team, I think I’ve realized that right now I need to put my energies into other parts of my life that require my attention. I want to make sure that I’m giving those matters that are urgent and important in my life enough focus…I don’t know how long my life will require this focus, and perhaps in the future the time will be right for me to volunteer again.”
Danielle also shared a meaningful tradition Marianne had with her two boys. In Marianne’s words:
“One nightly tradition that we picked up years ago from an awesome Learning Circles article was nightly secrets. Each night before my boys crawl in bed I tell them a special secret. It is usually something good that they’ve done that day. I always whisper it right in their ear (that makes it extra special because no one else can hear it!) and tell them I love them. It’s a great way to end off the day on a positive note. I admit sometimes I have to think for a bit to come up with a good one and sometimes their secrets are even the same (Shhh…don’t tell!), but again, it’s keeping me thinking about the positives; something that is especially great after one of the hardest times of the day: bedtime! They love it! I thought it would only last for a few days or weeks, but it’s literally lasted for years. My oldest loves it so much that the other night when I was on a phone call at bedtime, he wrote me a note asking me to write down his secret when I was done so he could read it the next morning.”
From April Perry:
Marianne jumped onto the Power of Moms Team with such energy and enthusiasm, and we were so grateful to have her! As we spoke about motherhood and family and the struggles that come to all of us, she expressed SUCH compassion for the mothers in our community. It was as though she were saying, “I know it’s not easy to be a deliberate mother, but I will do everything in my power to make it easier for the mothers coming next.” I loved that. It isn’t every day that you get to associate with a woman who knows the power of family. Marianne knew that to her core. She will be deeply missed by all of us, and we send our love and prayers to her family.
On December 5th of last year, Marianne shared this expression of her faith on her Facebook page:
“We are each given the gift of time and most of the time we have the agency to choose how we spend it. We do not know how much time we will have here on this earth. As an extended family, we are finding out how real that fact can be. In the last few months I’ve thought a lot more about how I spend my time, and I hope I can keep that more focused perspective for the rest of the time I have here on this earth.
I definitely cannot say I always make the wise choice. On far too many occasions I’ve brushed off a budding conversation with one of my boys because I was too busy looking at Facebook or even a more “noble” cause like preparing a church lesson. But sometimes I get it right. Like on Saturday, my boys really needed some quality time. My initial plan for the day was to be super productive and finish our Christmas cards, start the neighbor gifts, make my nursery class little mangers for their baby Jesus dolls, etc., etc. But that was not what was most important. I stopped for about 2 hours and we played board games. We had a marvelous time.
The Christmas cards, neighbor gifts, and mangers aren’t bad things, and they’ll probably surface at some point in time to the top of the priority list and get done, but Saturday afternoon wasn’t that time. . . .
So tonight I leave you with a question to ponder. How will you spend your time?
Because [Christ] lives, I can choose to spend my time on what matters most.”
Marianne, thank you for your service, compassion, and friendship. We know you did use your time well and thank you for inspiring us to do the same!
Here is a link to Marianne’s obituary. We would also like to extend the opportunity to contribute to a Go Fund Me campaign created for the family if you are interested in helping out. Marianne’s family sends their deepest appreciation and love.