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February 2011

The legacy of our quiet heroes is their good deeds. It's sometimes hard to understand exactly what they have done because the record of their actions is so subtle, sometimes almost too close to our own lives to see clearly as they're happening. As SMITH community member Mary Ellen Marks and her family found, one way to make sense of a life is by breaking it down into short, meaningful bits. Mary and her family found a way to honor their hero, Grandma Peggy Marks, through Six-Word Memoirs. Peggy was born in 1927 and grew up in the Bronx, married Elmont Marks (now deceased), with whom she had eleven children. At the service for Peggy, Mary's family asked everyone to offer six words about a woman who graduated from college, traveled the world, and tied the lives of countless people together with love and care as "grandma." Her relatives and friends came to her service with inspired stories and memorable quotes, all to celebrate the life of Peggy Marks, six words at a time. Mary generously shared these words with us. "Six Word Memoirs For Grandma" Seven boys, four girls, one Mother. Had eleven children; did her job. “Don’t ever give up.” Love, Mom. Mom’s illness remedy: “Take two aspirins.” “Take the good, pass it on.” “Go next door to Aunt Dotty’s!” "Wait ‘till your father gets home!" "Can someone go let Ace out?" "Cut out the weeping right now!"