Marilyn Brewster (née Dabrowski) age 71 of Terre Haute, Indiana passed away at 1:45 pm on December 1, at Caring Hearts Nursing Home. She was surrounded by loved ones including her beautiful, perfect daughter Deborah who I could make so happy if only she’d return my calls.
Marilyn Dabrowski was born July 11, 1948, in Terre Haute, Indiana to Peter Dabrowski, a steelworker, and Polina Dabrowski, a homemaker, who I bet worked even harder than her husband because homemaker is a real job. Deborah, I see that now. I sit on my tush all day writing obits while you cook, clean, and take care of our infant triplets. If you let me move back in, I’ll never again complain about you pouring gravy on leftovers and calling it stew. Marilyn was a happy child who loved to dance.
Marilyn attended Terre Haute High School where she was voted “Prettiest Smile,” which I know is sexist because I finally read that Roxane Gay book you bought me five years ago. I’ve also been reading sex books. Not the dirty Calvin & Hobbes I told you was a joke gift from my brother, but feminist sex books. Like, did you know women were capable of both clitoral and vaginal orgasms? I do, Deborah, I do now. The loss of her younger brother Karl to pancreatic cancer inspired Marilyn to enroll in nursing school.
Marilyn worked at Terre Haute Regional Hospital, where she met her husband, Dr. Frank Brewster. Remember when we met Deborah? Me, a hotshot young reporter. You, a witness to a deer breaking into a public library. Who could have guessed that a year later we’d serve that deer at our wedding? Marilyn and Frank were happily married for 44 years.
Marilyn enjoyed swing dancing, knitting, and raising the best daughter in my world, my darling Deborah. Please, I’m writing this from a foam mattress jammed under my desk at The Journal Gazette. I’m feeding myself by convincing coworkers the building is haunted by hungry ghosts. I never should have stormed out when you said you’d have to miss my adult kickball tournament because your mother was on her deathbed. I see that now. Marilyn was a committed collector of Steiff teddy bears.
Marilyn is survived by Fuck it. Deborah, whose Toyota Corolla is that in my driveway? I’m sitting across the street from our house in my Toyota Corolla. I knew you had a type. Is it Brent, the guy from your pottery class you said is gay, but if he’s gay why didn’t he grab my butt when I kept rubbing it on him at Fiona’s dinner party, hmmm? Maybe its Nina your hairdresser. I always thought you got your bangs trimmed a little too often. Oh, that’s my Toyota Corolla in the driveway. When I left I took the Mazda. I’m sitting in your Mazda. I see that now. Marilyn is also survived by her miniature schnauzer Pickles.
A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 7 at 2:30 pm. Deborah, I can't imagine the pain of losing your mother and the love of your life on the same day. Why don’t you stop reading this obituary and take a bubble bath?
It is requested that guests bring Gerber daisies, Deborah’s favorite flower and learn the words to “My Heart Will Go On,” Deborah’s favorite song. When the brass band bursts into the church interrupting Deborah’s eulogy, everyone should raise their daisies and begin to sing as I enter the church wearing the cashmere sweater Deborah bought me last year that I refused to wear because it made my neck itch. A light luncheon will follow the service.
The family requests that donations in Marilyn’s name be given to Hope House Women’s Shelter, where Marilyn volunteered often. Gifts of food may be left at the offices of the Journal Gazette, but no tree nuts because I’m allergic.
Marilyn will be missed by all that knew her, even those sons-in-law she called “no good layabouts who don’t know their ass from their elbow.” In life, Marilyn loved to invite friends over for coffee and a slice of pie. In death, she is still bringing people together, most importantly me and my forgiving, beautiful, intelligent, passionate, and forgiving wife Deborah.