James Hutchinson, Cleo Hutchinson, Carrie Hutchinson , Lilah Hutchinson, Bill Cropley, Jason Cropley
These are a few of her favorite things...
Influencers: Linda Rondstadt, Dolly Parton, Oprah
Book: The Myth of Normal
Movie: My Octopus Teacher
Flower: Yellow roses, African violets
Food: Cheese Toast
Gift from Nature: Winter snow, Fall leaves
Some of you may remember that Marilyn was part of a group of women called The Purples, (Ann Linthorst, Jan Kovac, Joan Rubadeau and I, Marilyn Grant) exploring spiritual ideas together. I pulled out a paper that Marilyn shared in 2002 that reminded me of how M so often said, “It’s all Good!” and how she always loved to laugh at the human condition. Even her cat, Duffy, provided meaningful insights. This was part of the paper she wrote in 2002! “I noticed Duffy wrestling with a small throw rug and realized that one of his toys had become stuck under it. My first instinct was to pull it out for him, but then it came to me that his playful struggles are the exercise he needs. Maybe wrestling with our problems is the spiritual exercise we need—God nudging us to understanding.” I appreciated that about Marilyn so much, her always seeking to understand, looking at the bigger picture. She was always so thoughtful and insightful. Later when our group switched to email, M was the cheerleader of the group with her understanding, compassionate responses. I will miss her sweet uplifting voice. “Everything is already alright,” is how she ended an email to me when I was having interpersonal issues. She quoted : . . know that it is nothing but Love unfolding infinite and undeniable Good. I Am nothing other than God the Good. I can just hear M saying this to us all now in her reassuring voice from her beautiful eternal ocean view—IT’S ALL GOOD!! Love and Blessings (how M always signed her emails!) ~ Marilyn
A request to write a few words about what Marilyn meant to me...what an assignment. The limitation of "a few words" is a problem but here goes. I met Marilyn and Bill as a couple so many years ago, their children were very young and still in school. My first impression was how lovable they were, even disagreeing with each other, they were very appealing people. Years later, Marilyn and I were two members of a group of women, friends, who met weekly to talk with a spiritual emphasis. We always hit a wide range of subjects from family news to global issues to personal struggles and triumphs. Our get-togethers were a highlight of the week. When Marilyn decided to move to Santa Barbara to be near Carrie and the grandkids, it was a blow to the group and we all missed her presence right up until she left all of us. She was our quiet voice of common sense always with a good measure of strong spiritual understanding of who we are, what we are here for and what the good life is like. For me personally, she was a good, good friend trusted to always love and support and say the sweet and loving word. Just days before Carrie called with news of her passing, I received a card in the mail from Marilyn, telling me she was thinking of me and thanking me for keeping in touch. I put it in a place where I can see it daily as a reminder of "Crop" and the special value a friend brings to life. Rest in love and peace, much loved and missed Marilyn, your always friend, Joan
Marilyn and I were like siblings and shared a deep love of truth. When she or I would call the other we would always say it felt like we were sisters ! One memory I have about Marilyn‘s ability to make decisions was when we were in Laguna Beach looking over the beach and talking about her going back into teaching. Soon after that, she made a decision to teach again. She had a long career sharing her love of life, interest in truth and love with children just as she did with us. Another big decision was to divorce and live alone . A big puzzle for me because it took such courage in the face of uncertainty. But it blessed she and Bill beyond my comprehension. A right idea . She made major decisions and followed her own intuition and discernment always. I respected her greatly and will miss her so much. Love, Jan.
Dear Carrie, Jason and Uncle Bill,
I’ve started this email reply a half dozen times now and I’m not an author but I can now relate to writers block. I’ve been stumped as to how to convey my condolences. As how to express not only my sorrow but my gratitude. Selfishly and shamefully I let a lifetime pass without giving Aunt Marilyn the opportunity to truly be a part of my life. But every time I reached out she was there. Like no time had passed at all. She was there with encouragement and wisdom. With open and honest conversation. With no judgment. She offered nothing to me but love. Unconditional love. Every. Single. Time. Some of my earliest memories are of Aunt Marilyn and Family. I remember visiting them in Shaker Heights probably not long before they packed up the mules and wagons for the Wild West. I remember that I lived in Northridge with her. She was a mother to me and Uncle Bill a dad. I played flag football. They served Taco Bell at school which blew my mind. I had a babysitter named Roxie. Aunt Marilyn made a salad with dinner every night. I don’t know why this sticks out but it does. Maybe why I love salad to this day? This time in Northridge may have been the first and only time I came close to a normal childhood. Because of Marilyn. I remember vividly trips to magic mountain and Disney land. I remember pouring through her record collection and listening to rod stewart on her turntable. I remember how she would make these amazing cheese toast crackers with olives on them that I recreated at home. I remember how she would drive me to the pool every day while I visited. Most all I remember the beach trips. She introduced me to the ocean at 1000 steps beach. And that day began my life long love affair with the ocean. Not too many days have passed in my life that I haven’t thought about her. Aunt Marilyn I love you. I’ve always loved you. Way more than you ever knew. ~ Eric
Marilyn, you were a dear friend in life… now I will always call upon your wise and beautiful presence in your new eternal realm.You found me in Cambria over a decade ago while seeking out John and a new copy of his book The Healing Energy of Love. John had made his transition, but we found each other and a profoundly beautiful relationship formed between us blessing my life for many years.
Your deep commitment to divine life infused all our conversations with insight and healing. You will always be with me in heart, mind and soul.
With love always, Tish
Dear Marilyn, I so enjoyed meeting you the day you came to look at my Treasure Drive apartment. You said you pretty much instantly knew it would be a perfect new home for you. You seemed to love that cozy little space so much and I was always so happy that someone as special as you was able to appreciate and enjoy it so much. I loved helping in small ways to help you get settled in and was very impressed with how brave you were to be enduring all the stress that goes along with moving. I enjoyed chatting with you now and then and comparing notes about being seniors and how we needed to adapt to how different things could be and seem later in life. I also was touched that you took the time, pretty much every single month, to write a personal note that you included with your rent check. That was an unforgettably thoughtful gesture. I will always continue to have you in my thoughts, as you were a beautiful person, inside and out, and it was my pleasure to have had you in my life. I’m sure you’re probably watching over your family today as they lovingly say their goodbyes to you. You will be spending eternity in a most beautiful spot that will be filled with peace and tranquility. Thank you for the privilege of knowing you! Love, Danita
Marilyn was my exemplary neighbor. I enjoyed our talks as we had much in common. She was a bright light on our street, and a very fine woman. I'm honored to have known her. ~ Kathleen
Your Mom carried me through some years. We would exchange letters and thoughts and she was always so wise and kind. I am sorry for your loss. I am happy for heavens gain! Seriously, Carrie....your Mom talked me through a lot of the changes that made me the man I am today. She was always so thoughtful. She was a fighter too! I’m laughing as I think of her lol. I pretty much knew her my whole life and she never ever argued with me. We never had tempers or dissention. She just knew how to talk to me...or rather get through to me. I will miss her but I also know she is where I am trying to go. She once sent me a picture, a postcard of Cambria. I liked it so she sent me more. I told "One day I am going to go there." This was way before the true belief that I would ever be free again was a possibility. I have been there multiple times. And have taken my wife and friends. So beautiful. I dont know if I can help you during this time in any way but please let me know. Your mom shaped my thoughts in the most positive way. ~Matt
It all began with a little ficus tree that Marilyn so generously gave to me. I Saw Her. She Saw Me. She had a sweet smile But behind it I saw Sorrow.
A place she did not want to be but she could trust me and from the moment we "saw" each other we knew we were Sisters of the Heart. She would call me in the wee hours of the morning, And I knew she wanted to ponder Life and Love.
And there were times that I would visit Her and We talked for hours about Life and Death and Eternity,All the while eating cookies and drinking Tea! A walk along Shoreline Marilyn would go into Silence. I knew Marilyn was Here and in Her Place Heaven... Both places she called "Home". She shared her joys and sorrows And often said that Someday there would be no Tomorrow, of which She had no Fear.
Marilyn is now in her Peace-filled Peaceful Place of Higher Deeper Understanding of which there are no words. I see her and I feel her Presence, especially when I am next to "Marilyn", the name I gave to her Ficus Tree. ~Maggie
I’m so sorry for the loss of my good friend Marilyn. She was a kind and good person, always gentle, always kind. We had many meaningful conversations over the ten or so years that we knew each other. Every time we got together or communicated she always told me about her family and she was very, very proud of her children. I heard stories about her granddaughters (that she adored) over the years as they grew and I came to understand them as very resilient and strong young women - destined for wonderful futures. We talked about her health (and mine as we had some similar issues) many times. It seemed no doctor could quite figure out what was going on with either of us, so we shared our solutions and frustrations and it was very soothing always to feel we understood each others’ struggles. She provided me great comfort. As the years went by we often talked philosophically about the meaning of life. We talked about our own lives and our experiences, and how we would feel at the end of our lifetimes. She conveyed many times to me that she was emotionally and spiritually prepared for her eventual passing. The last time I talked to her, she was very cheerful and happy that I had reached her. She told me how content she was with her current living situation at Friendship Manor, and that she was enjoying being friends with her ex-husband again. She told me that she had made peace with her stroke and that life was very good in spite of its effects. My impression was that she was genuinely enjoying each day. I will miss Marilyn deeply. She was a good friend and a role model for how to live fearlessly and gracefully. I believe she is in a beautiful place now, and that she will lovingly watch over us all. I will think of her often. My deepest condolences to her family for your loss and I am sending healing wishes to each of you. Be well. ~ Tracey