jane’s new home

Aug 24, 2010


Top row, then bottom row:
RuthAnne 17, Daniel 15, Noah 18, Sophie 18, Elizabeth 14, Isabelle 9, Jane, Elijah 12, and Kate 9.

This is Jane. She is my friend and has been for the last thirteen years or so. I remember the day I first heard about Jane. Her sister-in-law lived in my ward and she said “You are my sister-in-law’s twin! You remind me so much of her! I attended her last birth and she was just like you, laboring in water, eating healthy food, breastfeeding. You would love her. Maybe some day she will come visit and if she does, I will make sure I introduce you two soulmates.”

Well, pretty soon Jane not only came to visit, but she moved right down the street from me. We started hanging out together. A lot. I went over every few days to have lunch with her at her huge wooden table with benches (Guess what? Now I have a table with benches) or to picnic on the lawn. She taught me how to make pesto, shared her love of gardening, fed me delicious homemade bread, and gave me her heart. We spent hours talking about life, mothering, music, hiking, cooking, and faith. She taught me how a mother trusts the Lord. She showed me how a busy mother of many children can serve her friends and neighbors. She blessed me with her knowledge of the Savior’s love for her and helped me see the Savior’s love for me. She taught me how to nurture children and be a busy homeschooling mother. She grounded me in goodness.

Quite simply, she was my friend.

I moved away and we kept up our friendship. I would drop in on her whenever I went to Pocatello. We would sit around nursing our babies, laughing, discussing wonderful books, and listening to Sophie practice her cello. She watched my girls when I attended births or had doula appointments. She fed me delicious food. She threw a party for us after a cello recital. She shared her garden’s creations.

I remember once when she was watching Blythe for me and Blythe and Elizabeth cut their hair. Jane knew that this was Blythe’s first “haircut” and she saved all the pieces of hair for me in a ziplock bag. How precious and dear is that?

I remember when she was pregnant with the twins and how huge her uterus was. She birthed those two precious girls with bravery and beauty. She nursed them, two at a time, with a smile on her face.

Her husband left her and still she kept smiling, kept serving, kept loving.

Sometimes we would meet at a park and watch our children play together all afternoon. I remember one day, my friend Delinda and I were at Ross Park and in swooped Jane and her eight children on bikes. We had so much fun together and truly loved one another deep down to our little toes.

I can’t even count the number of times I was at her home and she was cooking dinner for someone else. As a single mom, without an income, without hope of getting an income, she was constantly cooking, giving, and loving others. Always. It didn’t matter what was going on in her own life, she was thinking of others and blessing all of us with her love.

Then Jane discovered she had breast cancer. Her hair fell out, her body struggled, and her faith shone. We laughed at her various head coverings and tried to design ones that would help her look her best. We prayed and fasted and worried and hoped.

Jane was beautiful as she went through treatment because her spirit kept on being beautiful. Kept on reaching out to others.

Then her house caught on fire. She insisted she didn’t need anything and shared her gratitude that her family was safe and together.

Then she discovered she had a brain tumor.

And now? Now she has been given a new home by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Her community has created a miracle for my dear Jane and I cannot even think of it without crying my eyes out.

People are good. Yes, they are.

Old Home:
Jane's Old Home

New Home:
Jane's New Home

Today is the day her family will be welcomed home. To their home. Designed for them and built with the love of thousands of people.

I am so happy for her. For each of them.

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  1. Robyn

    Thank you for sharing their story. I look forward to wathing this episode!

  2. Jane Marshall

    Tracy, Thank you so much for that wonderful post! I am so grateful to be your friend. Your ability to live your convictions is absolutely inspirational! Thanks for your contribution and we can’t wait until the episode airs…I will then be free to invite my friends over for lunch etc…You are a treasure! Love, Love, Jane

  3. tracy

    Of course I want to see the inside your new beautiful home, but much more than that, I want to see YOU! To rejoice with you, to share food with you, and to hug you long and hard.

    Love you!