A week ago
A week ago I went to work with a power pony: a favorite hairstyle at our office. It was a normal Thursday until it wasn’t. I was at home that night and got several messages saying we didn’t know where Mary was. I took Maddi back to her hotel, shaking in the car while she assured me that things would be fine. I dropped her off and went to my office. Caroline had been training Ashlynne and Ashley on how to guide Plunge sessions, so they were already there. Ashley’s sister and our friend Caroline was also there.
We gathered there, waiting for information. We talked to Rob and were going to pick Bridgete up after her volleyball game so that he didn’t have to leave the Hedingham Athletic Club. We talked to him again and he said a detective had just asked about her tattoos and we all collectively took a sharp intake of breath and tried to hold back tears because Rob was still talking; he wasn’t freaking out. He was talking. None of us wanted to admit to ourselves what that meant; what it might mean. Sister-friend Caroline said that if she was in surgery, she couldn’t talk. We clung to that and joked how pissed Mary would be if a gunshot wound gave her a bunch of scar tissue that would ruin her wedding attire, and how for the rest of our lives we’d hear her tell the story of how someone had shot her and she had this scar to prove it and we’d have to work on the scar all the time because scars are important.
Ashley, Caroline, and I went to go pick Bridgete up and then Rob called and was crying. He didn’t tell us. He just said to come there first before getting Bridgete. I asked my friend Emily to pick Bridgete up and we went to Hedingham. We still didn’t know because we still wouldn’t let our brains and hearts go to the place that knew what Rob’s crying meant. She was in surgery, she was in surgery, she was in surgery.
We arrived at Hedingham Athletic Club and I said, “What are we walking into.” It wasn’t a question. Caroline said, “I don’t know, but we are love and we are light. We are love and we can be love because we are love.” Ashley and I agreed: “yes,” with our jaws set and a curt nod to confirm the fact. We are love.
We got out of the car. Ginny - Mary’s mom - started walking toward us. She waved down the police who were trying to prevent us from coming toward them.
“They’re with us,” she said. A detective and an officer backed away. I didn’t see their expressions. I just saw Ginny. She was shaking her head. An imperceptible yet vigorous shaking, back and forth, back and forth. No, no, no, no no no no no no no no. “She’s gone,” she said.
The four of us - Caroline, Ashley, Ginny, and me - hugged in an awkward circle and I just said, “no.” That wasn’t right. That can’t be right. That’s not right. No.
I’ve written what I’ll read at Mary’s Celebration of Life. It felt good and horrible to write it, but the words had been swirling around my head since Thursday night. Yesterday I had some active brain cells and edited two chapters in my book. I’ll probably have to re-edit those because those brain cells weren’t likely impressive. Writing about other things right now doesn’t seem too appealing, but at the same time, I love sharing information and Mary loved getting this information - as I know many of you do - and gave me one of the best compliments a few weeks ago.
She said that she and Rob had lots of conversations that they never would’ve had if she hadn’t met me. She said if not for me, they never would’ve considered doing anything other than putting on a mask and doing whatever the news or “health authorities” said because she’d never considered that another option could or would exist. She and Rob both have a military background, so they were specifically trained to do what they were told. But she was open to growth and discomfort, and their conversations were deep and thoughtful not because of me, but because of their willingness to examine things differently. And that I got to play a part in that is a huge honor. Their love is beautiful.
My office is closed this week and will open on Mary’s birthday, 10/24. As per usual, most of the news is wrong about most of the things and Mary was 34, NOT 35. Jerks.
Many of you have asked if you can do anything for us. “Us” being her office family. When you have a staff of 10, you’re not just coworkers - you become family. Her bachelorette party was 2 of her closest friends + our office. We are each others’ people. We are taking care of each other and holding each other up in the most painful and beautiful ways and it is hard. We are doing our best. If you feel called to help us in some way, I urge you to donate (I don’t care how much money has already been donated) to BOTH of these Go Fund Me links, because knowing that her family is supported is helping us.
For Rob (her fiance) & Bridgete: https://www.gofundme.com/f/83x2h6-mary-marshall
For Ginny & Tom (her parents): https://www.gofundme.com/f/ew3tf-mary-marshall
And if you still want to do something productive, you can sport some of our branding. Mary was legitimately proud of working with us, and we’re all proud to be part of this family. We went together as a sort of lady bodyguard crew with Rob when he first decided to speak to the media on Friday (was it Friday? Saturday? I don’t know) and half of us were wearing our TriangleCRC shirts and our Xero Shoes Jessie sandals. You could tell we are a unit.
The nominal income from sales of these shirts (of which Mary owned 2 - the midweight pullover was a fave) go to our general office income, not to me directly (though if you buy those Jessie sandals, that is my direct link). And you have to promise that whenever you wear your shirt and someone asks you about it, you tell them about Mary Marshall. Deal? Deal. Click the pic to order one for yourself and 15 Christmas presents for the chillest and hottest people you know.
You can also join us on Saturday for Women’s Fitness and/or Run Club. We moved and cried and hugged and held each other last Saturday and I’m so grateful we didn’t cancel class even though my coaching was rubbish. We’ll do the same again this weekend, I’m sure, but Dr. Smith is coaching so it’s likely to be a bit of an upgrade from my incoherent ramblings on how to do a squat last week. I’m not being self-depricating. It was not my best coaching endeavor, obviously.
You can join Dr. Almonte for yoga on Monday night, or schedule your Plunge and sauna appointments for next week when we’re open. I’ve actually been on Instagram this week - sharing posts to our @trianglecrc account - and a few people commented that after seeing our posts and Dr. Robinson’s beautiful video that they didn’t realize that the Plunge could be “therapy.” It sure as hell can.
We told you all about that in our commercial, remember?
And finally, you can shop any of the rest of our links. We’re a service-based business and we’ve provided no services this week, so you can support your own self with great supplements or products and offer some income to your doctor by using any of the provider links on our shop page. Or you can grab yourself a paid subscription to this newsletter, which feels a little bit like accepting money for coaching last weekend: this isn’t exactly my best showing.
Thank you for asking how you can offer support. Even your love, prayers, and thoughts are comforting. So thank you.
Okay, I’m going to share information, but I don’t know what sorts of writing I’ll actually squeak out. Here goes.
Early voting has started in Wake County.
This is worth reading and watching the video at the beginning.
Okay, this seems like a serious threat:
Not a serious threat:
The CDC wants to mandate kids' shots. Here’s how they’re sneaking about doing so (and apparently voting today):
And I have no clue what’s going on with the Durham trial of Igor Danchenko or what happened, but I’ve gotten several updates from sources that I’ve deleted, so if anyone wants to take to the comments and tell us all what’s happening, that’d be cool. Let’s go, citizen journalists. I believe in you.
Not news, but a thought: Mary had a rule that you can’t look like shit and feel like shit at the same time. I am not following it, but I did put a bright fuschia lipstick on and could hear her getting pissed that my lips held lipstick longer than hers: “I just do NOT understand how your lipstick is still there. I’ve seen you drink and eat. What happens with my mouth?! Why doesn't mine last as long?!” and then I’d remind her that I was wearing Beautycounter's Color Intense lipstick, which just lasts longer than the sheer ones and she’d say, “but even when I wear those, mine still doesn’t last as long.” We had this conversation no less than 10 times.
Oh, one final note: Dr. Robinson and I will be on My Carolina on CBS-17 on Monday (Mary’s birthday). The show starts at 9. We’ve pre-recorded three segments, and Mary was in one of them, but it’s not ready to air yet because they haven’t edited that one. Rob told me she was so excited to be on the news. Bridgete said she was guessing Mary didn’t think it would be like this.
I’m done now. Thanks for reading and clicking on the links since I didn’t really write that much and am expecting you to do a bit of legwork.