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See that lovely lady on the right? Sitting next to the handsome guy in the Trojan t-shirt?

That’s Marilu Caldwell. And that’s her husband of nearly 64 years, Tommy. They adore each other…there’s nothing sweeter than being in the company of this amazing couple.

Today is Marilu’s birthday!

I have had the blessing of knowing them since I was very young. They have poured themselves into my life all these years, shared their life, their family, their love with me in ways that are too numerous to count. I would not be the person I am today without their support. Marilu, Tommy, I am so grateful for the gift of you.

Today, I want to share some of what makes Marilu so special. Her birthday is the perfect day to tell you (and her!) how much she has taught me, modeled for me and given me.

Marilu is an incredible example of loving faithfulness. Her family, her husband, her friends have all been blessed by her devotion to loving, caring and doing for those she loves. Marilu is a precious mom, grandmother and great-grandmother and there is nothing more wonderful than watching her do the things that make her grown children smile like making sure they get their favorite Christmas cookies or celebrating life’s milestones with her now-grown grandchildren or seeing her face light up with love when she welcomes a new great-grandchild. Whether she’s mom, grandma or grandma Lu, she is always love. Her affection and care and concern for her family are so obvious. Marilu loves and cares deeply and I love watching her enjoy her family and seeing them enjoy her.

She came into my life when she and my mother met when they were both teachers at the same school. They struck up a friendship that became close and warm and supportive over the course of years. Marilu encouraged my mom as she worked hard to move her teaching career along and was a sounding board for her as she raised me and my sister, offering the support that only another mother can. Their friendship set the foundation for the relationship that I have with Marilu now. How grateful I am for that.

When my mother was diagnosed with cancer and struggled for several years through surgeries and treatment, Marilu was her faithful friend. She visited. She called. She sent cards. She waited at hospitals with me and my sister. She made sure people knew how my mom was doing. She believed with us that my mom would get well and return to her old life. When my mom struggled to recover so she could to return to work, Marilu put off her retirement so she could be at school when my mom came back. She wanted to be there to celebrate my mom’s return.

But it wasn’t to be. My mom wouldn’t get better but would go to be with the Lord in Heaven. And through that hard time, Marilu was there. I know it was hard for her, hard to see her friend suffer with illness. Harder still to lose her to the disease. My mother loved Marilu so much. She was so grateful for the friendship, for the love Marilu gave to her and to us and for faithful friendship. Marilu, thank you for loving my mom so much. She loved you and appreciated you more than you will ever know. And thank you so much for helping me keep my mother’s memory alive in my heart.

Marilu is an avid reader and has been part of a book club that I believe has been together for over 30 years. I love hearing about the books her group reads together and about their get-togethers to discuss their reading selections. I’ve heard that Marilu has a reputation for selecting some of the racier titles the club has read over the years! She has been a member of her church since she was a teenager (she and Tommy met at youth group when they were teens!) and she has served her church through the years, giving of herself, her time and talent. Her example of loving and giving and being committed through thick and thin is such an encouragement to me. I hope her example rubs off on me, that day by day, I am becoming woman as faithful as Marilu.

A few things you might be interested to know about Marilu:

— She knits beautifully! One of my childhood memories is watching her knit a complicated afghan that is still on her bed today. I still love looking at it and remembering her working the intricate pattern. She knits a blanket for every new baby that joins the family and for Christmas a few years ago, she knitted me my own Christmas stocking so I would have one like the rest of the kids in the family. It is one of my favorite gifts!

— She LOVES dark chocolate! Dark chocolate candy, bittersweet chocolate sauce on ice cream, dark chocolate anything makes Marilu happy.

— Marilu spent part of her childhood growing up in Hawaii. She does the crossword puzzle in the paper most days and often compares answers with her son Chris. And she and Tommy love to travel. She is their travel director, searching out trips for them to take with their travel group.

— She is a terrific cook and one of my favorite food memories with Marilu is watching her make homemade waffles for dinner. It was years ago when I was a kid. I had never had homemade waffles and never had waffles for dinner! I can still remember how good they tasted!

Didn’t I tell you she was lovely?

Marilu, thank you so much for all you have done to bless my life. You are an incredible example of a woman who loves with devotion and faithfulness. Thank you for stepping into the role of mom for me when I needed it. There is no way to capture in words how much you mean to me. Today, I celebrate you and the gift God has given me in you. Happy Birthday!

With lots of love,


About Me

I'm Aurora and I'm under transformation! Ever since Jesus Christ took hold of my heart, He's been working on changing me into His image. I'm passionate about growing in my faith and living fully in the freedom Christ paid for me to have. I love hearing about what the Lord is doing in the lives of His people and encouraging them to follow hard after Jesus.

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