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A life of fulfillment

Jan 29, 2013, 12:00 PM EST

Anyone who happened to meet Marian Amdur for the first time never stood a chance of accurately guessing her age. Whenever someone would ask how old my grandmother was and I replied she was 94, there would be a momentary pause and look of confusion.

Ninety-four?! No way. Not this woman who had the looks, the energy and the attitude of someone at least 20 years younger.

How many 94-year-olds do you know with that kind of busy lifestyle? Brunch with family at 11 a.m. Bridge with friends at 2 p.m. Then dinner and a show downtown. Oh, and somewhere in the middle of all that, she had time to construct personalized, homemade birthday cards for all of her grandchildren. Hallmark never collected a dime from this woman.

The running joke whenever I'd return home to Phoenix would be if Grandma could find the time to squeeze me into her hectic schedule. Lunch on Wednesday? No, she already had plans. Dinner on Friday? Sorry, she already committed to attending an art exhibit. Maybe a quick stop by her apartment late Thursday afternoon …Read more »

  1. schlickw - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    My deepest condolences. She clearly was a heck of a lady.

  2. Positively Half St. - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    My condolences, Mark. You've written a fine tribute.

  3. MicheleS - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Truly sorry for your loss Mark. Thank you for sharing your Grandma with us.

  4. AndesAngle - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Sorry for your loss, Mark. Sounds like your family was very blessed to be a part of her life.

  5. Nats fan in NJ - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Mark – May her memory be a blessing, now & forever. She sounds like a one of a kind lady. My condolences to you & your family.

  6. AndesAngle - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Sorry for your loss, Mark. Sounds like your family was very blessed to be a part of her life.

  7. Unknown - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Mark,My deepest condolences on the loss of this beautiful woman, such a vibrant soul. Please travel safely and savor this time with your family as you honor your grandma. My pastor says something that I find comforting when loved ones die – that person is still with you in a very real way, inside you and your relatives. Her very blood courses through all of her descendants. Her DNA and all the wonderful qualities she embodies is somehow imprinted within you and your family.What a beautiful woman! What a wonderful tribute! Thank you for sharing this with us despite your own deep loss.

  8. Gonat - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    So sorry for your loss Mark. Very nice story.

  9. original Nats Fan - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    my thoughts and prayers are with your family. She surely had a life worth celebrating.

  10. sjm308 - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Not just the words, but the pictures mean so much to those of us who come here every day. I hope this helped you in some small way deal with your loss. Enjoy your time with family and give and get lots of hugs. Laugh and cry and celebrate what was certainly a wonderful women. You are in our thoughts.

  11. Constant Reader - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    What a wonderful moving tribute. Condolences from your somewhat odd, somewhat goofy, always loyal 'family' here at NI. Travel safely.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Mark,My condolences to you and your family. This is the most poignant piece I've ever read written by someone I know.May your visit be filled with celebration.

  13. Joe Seamhead - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Mark, my deepest condolences, but thank you for sharing her story and your memories with us.

  14. Section 222 - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Condolences Mark. Thanks for the lovely tribute.

  15. Scooter - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    How wonderful that you can honor your grandmother with this beautiful tribute. My condolences.

  16. TimDz - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Wonderful tribute, Mark…Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us…I somehow have the feeling that your Grandparents are ballroom dancing now….

  17. SlowPitch63 - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Thank you for letting us belatedly celebrate her life with you. We join you now in mourning her passing.

  18. NatsLady - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Sorry for your family's "loss," Mark, but you "gained" a lot with this lady. Made me recall my own grandma, whose picture smiles at me every day on my refrigerator door.

  19. TNealls - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:08 PM

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  20. TNealls - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Grace and Peace to you and your family. May you embrace this week as fully as she lived.

  21. SCNatsFan - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    You can feel the love in every word you wrote. Condolences to your family however you made this reader jealous that you had someone like that it your life… and reminds me of my Grandmother and how we felt on her passing many years ago.

  22. 3on2out - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    My family has always found comfort in the following excerpt from a sermon given by Henry Scott Holland at King Edward VII's funeral in 1910:Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.Let it be spoken without affect, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same that it ever was. There is absolutely unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. I hope these words can offer some small solace to Mark and his family.

  23. UnkyD - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Beautiful piece, Mark. Thank you for sharing her memory with us. One is never prepared for the death of a loved one, but to live such a long, fulfilling life, and then pass so peacefully, with relatively little suffering, should be a great comfort to her survivors. May God bless and keep you, and your family, in your grief.

  24. NatsJim - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    My deepest sympathies for your loss Mark. We lost our 93-year old Aunt a week before Christmas in a very similar manner – she was also living independently (in Pittsburgh 8), got what her doctors originally diagnosed as a "touch" of pneumonia, and was gone within a week. We had a long-standing "date" to dance at her 100th birthday party, and I was also convinced she was going to make it. All my best to you and your family.

  25. UnkyD - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Thanks, for the Holland excerpt, 3on2… Spot on.

  26. NatsLady - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:39 PM

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  27. The Fox - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    My condolences to you and your family, beautifully written, you were very lucky to have such a wonderful Grandma and gotten so many years to enjoy her. Celebrate with your family all the good times you got to enjoy with her.

  28. alexva - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    very sorry to hear of your loss, may you be comforted by loving memories. it sounds like you will.

  29. Dryw Loves the Nats - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    My sympathy, Mark. Glad you have such lovely memories of your grandmother. Best wishes to you and your family.

  30. SonnyG10 - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    My condolences Mark. Thanks for sharing a beautifully written tribute to your grandmother's life.

  31. NCNatsie - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    "…And to assuage the handicap of our mortality, you have given us families and friends, that we might, generation upon generation and idea upon idea pass on the genes, and the arts and sciences we possess, and thus, even the least of us, achieve permanence within the universe."Your grandmother certainly exemplified that thought. How fortunate you are to have had her, and she you.

  32. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Sorry for your loss, Mark. My condolences.

  33. GinaG - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Wow, what a wonderful woman! And what a beautiful tribute to her. You and your family have my thoughts and prayers as your grieve and celebrate her life this week.

  34. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    "Please NOT Gio!!!!"His father says it was he who purchased the PEDs, or something like that. Neither Gio nor his agent would comment, though, which means they are not denying the report. None of the other players or their agents are commenting, either – e.g. Melky Cabrera, ARod, et. al. Not the kind of names you want to be associated with.It is a newspaper report about a clinic with a shady reputation. MLB not yet involved, but they certainly will be.

  35. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Sorry Mark, for your loss. A lovely lady, like so many who make all of our lives the better for having them in it.

  36. Gonat - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Laddie, that is horrible news just being named. Where there's smoke there's fire.Let just hope he is as clean as a whistle now.

  37. Gonat - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Marks title for his Grandmother: "A Life Of Fullfillment"In some athletes careers take out the "f" out of Life. What irony.

  38. Joe Seamhead - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    What do all say that out of respect, let's move the Gio story to the last post.

  39. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    JoeS, agreed.

  40. Traveler8 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Mark, thanks for sharing your thoughts about your grandmother with us – she sounds like she was a lot of fun. My condolences to you and your family.

  41. natsfan1a - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother, Mark. Thank you for sharing it with us. My condolences to you and your family.Coincidentally, we traveled last weekend to be with my grandma-in-law before she passed. She was also 94, and we had been planning a 95th birthday party to rival the one we had for her 90th. She, too, lived independently into her final year and left behind treasured artwork in addition to many happy memories (in her case, these were beautiful hand-made quilts and afghans that warm both body and soul).I wish you safe travels and a memorable celebration of life with your family.

  42. natsfan1a - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:12 PM

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  43. UnkyD - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Thank you, Joe… My thoughts exactly.

  44. NatsLady - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Agreed. Deleting my Gio post, and God Bless you and your family, Mark.

  45. natsfan1a - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I'm thinking that has to be Mark in the middle picture, on the left side of the photo (to grandma's right). And we all recognize the cutie she's holding in the last pic. :-)

  46. natsfan1a - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Thanks, NatsLady.

  47. Tom in AR - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Mark, thank you for sharing this with us. I pray for a wonderful time with family this week celebrating her life.

  48. JD - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Deepest condolences Mark.

  49. LoveDaNats - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Mark, I'm so sorry. What a blessing you have so many wonderful memories of her.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    MARK, condolences to you and your family..

  51. sm13 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    My deepest condolences, Mark, to you and your family. Your trbute this morning was beautifully written. Your love for this special woman shone through.

  52. Cheryl Nichols - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    My deepest condolences, Mark. Such a beautiful tribute to a remarkable woman. I feel like I know her now. I only hope that I can live a life with as much zest as she did. Glad you have so many wonderful memories of her. Enjoy the precious time with your family this week. Safe travels.

  53. greg - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    sorry to hear that, mark. but she obviously had a tremendous impact on your life and will be remembered fondly. we'll be here when you get back, take your time and enjoy reminiscing with your family.

  54. NatsFam - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    I think we get more of a sense of where you get your balance and life attitude from. Thanks for introducing such a wonderful lady into our existence. Don't ever think of what you do as "just a little sports blog". You bring a reality to your readers that they wouldn't have without you – it's more of a blessing than you can imagine.

  55. NatsNut - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    She sounds like an awesome Grandma. Thank you for sharing Mark.

  56. ptindc - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    It's always a pleasure to read your work Mark. I am saddened by your loss, but I'm certain a grandmother as creative as yours must have appreciated all that you put out into the world. Your virtual family mourns with you.

  57. BigCat - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    My condolences as well Mark. She sounded like a tough ol bird.

  58. Tcostant - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:18 PM

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  59. MurrayTheRed - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Mark thanks for sharing. She sounded like a wonderful and special lady. My condolences.Murray

  60. Kevin Rusch - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Reading about your grandmother was a delight; people like her are rare. Thanks for sharing, and my condolences to your family.

  61. Marc - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    My condolences on your loss Mark. Thank-you for sharing with your readers.About ten years ago I lost my 96-year-old grandmother who similarly had lived independently and actively despite surviving her husband and siblings and having numerous physical impediments. I suspect that, like I have, you will find yourself inspired by the way she lived and approached life as you face the inevitable challenges it throws your way and embracing that part of her that lives on in you.

  62. Doc - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Mark, thanks for sharing your thoughts on your grandmother. You're excellent eulogy brought to mind my own exceptional gran who coincidentally, although born in Seattle, grew up on Squirrel Hill, a generation before Marian Amdur.Marian was obviously an All Star, and part of her amazing legacy was producing a grandson who is one of the better sportswriters of his generation.

  63. Avar - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Condolences on her passing Mark but what an amazing woman and I'm glad to hear you say you'll be celebrating her life. Sounds like a life worth celebrating. A true inspiration.

  64. David - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Great tribute. Very sorry for your loss. My condolences to your entire family.

  65. mo nats - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Maark, what a wonderful description of a remarkable person in your life. My own father is 94 and the family is looking forward to celebrating his 100th in the future. Your grandmother's life makes one hope that he/she will be remembered so lovingly.

  66. rmoore446 - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    What a wonderful life and a great tribute! My condolences for the loss of this wonderful lady

  67. Jeff Zuckerman - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Super sweet, Mark. We'll be there with you in spirit this week.Uncle Zuffster

  68. rdexposfan - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    My deepest condolences on the loss of your grandmother. Her life was long and full and we should take a lesson from it, to live life to it's fullest everyday.

  69. Dave - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    My sympathies to you and your family, Mark. That was a wonderful tribute piece.

  70. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 29, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Sincere condolences to your family, and a standing O to your grandma for a life well lived.I'm going to go call my mom now.

  71. Ron In Reston - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    My condolences as well, Mark. My grandmother died just before Thanksgiving this past year at 105 and was also an avid golfer and bowler in her younger (into her 70s) days.

  72. realdealnats - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    My sympathies Mark. Talk about someone who took a big bite out of life! I love that she met your Grandfather dancing. She inspired you and now you've inspired us. Indulge in all the memories this week…

  73. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Deepest condolences to all the Zuckerman family. Mark, your grandmother lives on through you and the rest of your family. She sounds like quite the woman. Your beautiful tribute should be the anchor for what I am sure will be many memories and stories that live on. Your memories of her will only grow fonder and richer through the years.Again, my deepest sympathy for your loss.John D. SchulzBethesda, Maryland

  74. jw - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    What a beautiful tribute! My condolences to you and your family.

  75. peric - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Sounds to me like she was more than a little bit of alright! Great inspiration! A full almost entirely no compromise life … Nice. Great piece of filial piety Mark.

  76. RickH - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Amazing woman! My condolences to you and your family.

  77. ehay2k - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Condolences from our family to yours Mark. She seems like a person people would feel lucky to have known.

  78. Ed King - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Marian was my cousin. Her mother, Esther, was my Father's sister. Your tribute to her was really beautiful. I assume you live in DC, as does my son Bruce King. Perhaps we can meet some time in DC.





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