“I cannot change yesterday.  I can only make the most of today and look with hope toward tomorrow... – Author Unknown.

Carolyn Marsh did not write the above quotation, but Carolyn’s lifestyle certainly personifies this quotation.  With a classic beauty and charming personality, Carolyn discovered at too young of an age that wasting tears over old grief was useless, faith makes all things possible and love makes all things easy.

Carolyn was born at home, in her brother’s bedroom at 508 Union Street in Rockford, Illinois.  While visiting Kermit, Texas at the age of eighteen, Carolyn married, subsequently had four children and eventually became an “Amarilloite” when her husband accepted a job with the Amarillo Globe News.

Over the years, life in Amarillo was filled with an abundance of good old Texas sunshine.  Carolyn worked at J. Winston’s, enjoyed the community activities such as Women’s Network and learned to ski at age forty-one.

Ah – ever notice that to appreciate the sunshine of life, we must all experience the rain, storms, thunder and lightning?  In February of 1987, the storms hit with a fury both figuratively and literally in Carolyn’s life.  One of Amarillo’s infamous ice storms hit with a vengeance.  The workers for the City of Amarillo cleared the streets, leaving large ice ridges along driveways and curbs.  Carolyn, in her attempt to arrive at work in a timely manner, stepped over one of the ice ridges to get in an automobile, fell and severely damaged the nerves in her back from her waist down.  After two surgeries in the next two years, Carolyn ended up with a “doctor-forced” retirement in 1989 and a move to Las Vegas to be with family.

After spending three years in Las Vegas, friends began intervening in Carolyn’s destiny.  A good friend insisted she become an Amarillo resident again, and another good friend, realizing Carolyn had no means of mobility with her physical limitations of being as active as her mind and spirit directed her, introduced her to Mr. David Kritser.  Mr. Kritser, of Second Chance Foundation, suggested Carolyn fill-out an application which led to matching funds from Second Chance to purchase a van for Carolyn with hand controls, a turning driver’s seat and an automatic emergency brake.  And, indeed, life took on a whole new direction for this classic beauty!

With love, emotional and financial support from Second Chance, Carolyn became an actual “poster-child” for an active, community caregiver.  Her new “wheels” not only allowed her to begin volunteering for a hospice program, but also allowed her to become an active volunteer for the animal rescue shelter.  When the motor gave out in her van, Second Chance Foundation once again intervened by matching mechanical repair funds and sent her on her way to continue her path of giving.

Carolyn, today, is not as active as she would want to be in her life.  The deterioration of her mobility has increased and Second Chance has again provided her with equipment to maintain as much independence as she and her physical condition allow.  To insure reduced pain as she continues on her path of independence, a trapeze was installed by Second chance on her hospital bed.  Carolyn no longer volunteers with the hospice program, but her work with animals continues.  The leftover rescues that have not been adopted are abundant in Carolyn’s home and receiving an abundance of love!  She is also a volunteer for a mentoring program, providing the youth of our community a vivid view of career choices along with the beauty, yet burden, of building a business.  Carolyn is also taking Hebrew lessons as she feels it was the language spoken by Jesus and she wants to fully understand the language. 

Sharing is the key to Carolyn’s character and personality.  This writer would like to share with you a small bit of her words regarding Second Chance Foundation.

Second Chance is the most essential group of people and the most unknown group of people.

Second Chance not only gives life, Second Chance promotes life.

Second Chance, and their donors, are the most important people in anyone’s life because they promote total independence for persons that, otherwise, are considered disabled.

Thank you, Carolyn Marsh, for being a gift to this community. Thank you, Second Chance, for giving Carolyn Marsh the second chance in life to become the caring, sharing, contributing lady that she is today.

Diann.Brown@bsahs.org