My wife, Marilyn Peters, a successful and respected trial attorney, was diagnosed with incurable, Stage IV stomach cancer in April 2014. Marilyn possessed all of the best traits we can strive for as humans—she was moral, compassionate, passionate, smart, inquisitive, honest, adventurous, sensitive, caring and loving. She was loyal to a fault to her family, friends and colleagues and was a mentor to and advocate for so many aspiring lawyers. She was the ultimate extrovert and cared deeply about the lives of those around her. She was never afraid to speak her mind and to fight against unfairness and hypocrisy. Despite the devastating news, Marilyn determined to battle the disease and to carry on her life day-to-day with dignity and grace. She continued to manage her career, enjoy every day with family and friends, care for her elderly mother, who died last December never knowing of Marilyn’s cancer, travel, ski, hike and practice yoga, while undergoing the debilitating treatments that cancer patients have to endure. She did not wallow in self-pity—she knew many family, friends and colleagues who had cancer—some of whom survived and others who did not. As a keen observer of everything going on around her, Marilyn saw the grim and anxious faces of the family and patients in the oncology waiting rooms awaiting fateful diagnoses or to be poked, prodded, scanned and poisoned in their efforts to battle this heinous disease. She knew she was not alone or singled out.
Our daughter, Sara, suggested that Marilyn write a blog of her experiences and Sara, a graphic designer, set it up. I believe the blog was intended to be personal—therapeutic for Marilyn. But soon I began to receive comments and emails from people who were reading her blog and remarking how honest, open, beautiful and inspirational it was and how much it impacted them emotionally.
Marilyn passed away on August 20, 2015. She dictated her last blog to her friend Judy the day before. Marilyn was lucid and in control to the end and in many tearful conversations told friends and family how much she loved them and that she was no longer afraid to die. None of us in her immediate family read her blog until after she died. While this may sound corny to some, but in the case of God v. Marilyn A. Peters, and despite God’s immense advantage, Marilyn did not lose, but rather reached a mutually agreeable settlement. Here is her blog.
Alan Greene, Marilyn’s best friend and devoted husband and law partner for 34 years.