Lake Orion family given garden after young woman's death - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Lake Orion family given garden after young woman's death

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Marianne Romsek said she feels the garden "embodies the spirit of Marissa."  (Credit: WJBK | Marianne Romsek said she feels the garden "embodies the spirit of Marissa." (Credit: WJBK |

"Here it says, 'You have left my life, but you will never leave my heart.'  I think that's a great thing for the Romseks.  This is some place that they can really go to be with Marissa here in spirit," said Brandon Moore.

The Romseks say that's what they need to try to move forward.  Marissa Romsek would be 19 in just a few days, but in January, home for her first winter break from Michigan State, she collapsed.

"Within 30 seconds she was brain dead, and he said even if she was in the hospital, they couldn't have saved her," said Marianne Romsek, Marissa's mother.

Through her tears, Marianne can now see Hope, a beautiful garden built by Project People from St. Joseph Church in Lake Orion, a group Marissa's own brother is a part of.

"I think the garden embodies the spirit of Marissa because it's a beautiful place and she was such a beautiful girl, and I just think her spirit is there," her mother said.

This garden was a labor of love from the entire community.  The flowers and a dozen special touches were all donated.  50 kids spent five days with no cell phones and no computers, just one goal, lifting up a family in need.

"I don't want to be known as a selfish person.  I want to be known as someone who's here to work for others, so any chance I can get to help somebody out like this, in this case planning this garden for them, I'm ecstatic," Moore said.

"There's a bigger picture than us and that's what it's all about," said Marianne Romsek.  "Spending the week with these kids, it just really brings it home."

"Life can end at any moment, and you just got to take advantage of the time we have here and
just hope for the best," said Kyle Wood.  "You can see how many people care about Marissa."

"If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again," reads an inscription on one of the stones in the garden.

"She had her whole life planned out, and she really knew what she was going to do," said Joey Romsek, Marissa's brother, who added that he misses her a lot.
The family also plans to plant a tree in honor of Marissa, a place for them to go and pray.

On the last day of this project, Marissa's mother told us that she found a pot on which Marissa had painted a bumblebee and a tree when she was just eight years old.

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