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Mom went to be with the LORD

By Gary F. Zeolla


      Monday, March 27, 2017 was my 56th birthday, but it was anything but a happy day. My mom (Marcella Rose Zeolla) went to be with LORD at 10:15 am. She was 81 years old. She had struggled with many health problems for most of her life and spent the last year of her life in a nursing home. But her love for her family was unquestioned. She always was there for me and the rest of her family, and she always kept each one of us in her prayers.

      She was a very faithful and dedicated mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and wife. In fact, my parents missed by just a few weeks being married for 60 years. Along with me and my dad (Nicholas “Nick” Zeolla), she is survived by her older son, Allen “Al” Zeolla (and his wife Kim), her three grandchildren though them: April Barnes (and her husband Pat), Daniel Zeolla (and his SO Jessica Fields), and Jonathan “Jon” Zeolla (and his wife Victoria), and her eight great-children through them: Dakota, Logan, Dominic, Roxanna, Xander, Topanga, Tyrese, and Aaron. My Mom would review all of these names each day so as to remember them and to be able to mention each family member by name in her daily prayers.

    Despite her many health problems, she always tried to keep herself in shape. She would go for walks around the neighborhood year-round, regardless of the weather. I can remember her and I going for a walk on a very cold and snowy winter day. My dad thought we were both nuts. In the summer she would swim at the nearby public pool. Even after her health deteriorated, and she had to use first a cane then a walker, her and my dad would go to a local mall or Walmart, and she would walk there. It was only at the very end that she was not able to keep up with the walking. She also tried to follow a healthy diet most of her life, though I must say, she had some strange ideas of what “healthy” was. But she ate what she felt was best for her.

      But much more importantly, my mom had long ago placed her faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for the forgiveness of her sins. She would read her Bible every day, taking notes, and  memorizing Bible verses. Her faith pulled her though many hard times, and I know she is in a better place now.

      I hadn’t seen my mom in several weeks due to first entering a powerlifting contest and then getting sick afterwards, though I had talked with her on the phone, namely to tell her how my contest went. But I made it to the nursing home half an hour before she passed. At that point, she was barely breathing and did not open her eyes. I tried to update her on everything that was happening in my life, letting her know I was doing okay and that I loved her.

      I told her I was almost finished writing my latest book and that I was just getting ready to get back into hard training. Otherwise, I prayed for her. I just wished she had opened her eyes just once so I would have known she knew I was there and could hear me.

      When her breathing and heartbeat became very shallow, I tried reading Psalm 23 to her, but I was breaking up too much to do so, so I handed my phone to my niece and had her read it. My mom probably passed into Paradise just as my niece finished the Psalm.

      You will be missed Mom. But with passing away on my birthday, I will always remember the day you died and will think of you on each birthday and much in-between.

      I had my niece read Psalm 23 from the New King James Version (NKJV), as that is the version my mom always read, due to my recommendation. The last line is most importantI know my mom will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Do you, the reader, have this assurance?  If not, trust on Jesus Christ today for the forgiveness of your sins. You never know when you will be walking through the valley of the shadow of death.


<A Psalm of David.> 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

My mom's obituary as it appeared in my local newspaper, the Valley News Dispatch, as written by my dad.

The above memorial was posted on this website in March 28, 2018.

Forgiveness and Salvation

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