Too Much Fun

Oct 11

Too Much Fun

Hey, I’m Maren.

For those of you who have been reading for a while I assume you know who I am. For those that haven’t, I am Jen Anderson’s oldest daughter. My life has changed a lot over the past year, 11 months, and a day. And as I learn, and grow, and cope, it continues to change.

I must admit that I disappointed myself when I realized a couple weeks ago how casually I told one of my new friends that my Mom died. We were at volleyball, and we were working on our math homework. I mentioned that the last time I struggled with math as much as we were then was when my mom died. She got very quiet, and at first I didn’t know why. Then it hit me, none of my friends that I have made recently knew about my life. She leaned over our textbooks we had strewn out and gave me a hug. After that encounter, I was shocked that I, firstly, didn’t cry, and also that I had put on such a front for the past few years that everybody assumed that I lived with two parents, just like everyone else. I felt like I disappointed my mom – that I wasn’t sad and that I “moved on” so easily. After that, I forced myself to be sad for a few days, thinking it was my responsibility to miss her so much that I couldn’t be happy. After a couple days, though, I realized I never disappointed her. I wasn’t ready to talk about it, but then I was. I realized that I can be upset and accept that it happened. I realized that I didn’t have to choose. I can be happy and my hard days don’t have to be everyday.

About 2 weeks later I went to homecoming. I was doing fine and my friend and I got ready together and took some pictures before we met up with the rest of our group. I was excited to spend the night with my friends, and then I realized that my mom wasn’t there to take pictures. I was sad for all of 10 minutes until my goofy friends made me laugh. I kept forgetting that mom would want me to be happy, so I made a bet with myself – to see exactly how much fun I could have in one night with my friends. Let’s just say that I think I won the bet. From skipping the entire length of the football field with our arms linked together, to singing and dancing until our throats were sore, that is the most that I have smiled in the past two years. A conversation I will never forget from that night was between my friend and her mom, when we were all in the car. My friend said, “Okay mom we will have fun, but not too much fun right?” The response was, “No, have too much fun, come back saying that there was no way you could have had a better night.” I think my mom made some good choices in friends! Because that sounded like it could have come right out of her mouth.

Life changes, but if we let the craptastic moments control the beautiful ones, the beautiful ones will become harder and harder to spot. It’s okay for us to have bad days; to lay in bed, eat some comfort food, maybe write a blog post. Whatever works for you. But without having the mindset of having too much fun, life can get boring. Fast. I know, I let it happen. But if I’ve been smiling, I think others can too.


(age 14, #ProudDad)


  1. Conni Carlson /

    Hugs and kisses, Maren. 💕

    • Marlayne Skeens /

      Dear sweet Maren ~ Your parents have taught you to “do today well” ❤️ your parents have been excellent mentors ❣️ you and your sister have seen many ups and downs for sure; however, your parents taught you: you have choices 😊 You carry your mother in your heart, so that makes you her vehicle to have “too much fun” ❣️❣️ Big hugs 🤗🤗🤗

      • Kathi Roth /

        Oh Maren this reminded me of your mom’s writing! Such wisdom you show. I can only think your mom is smiling like crazy at this and literally yelling you go girl!! Craptastic made me laugh out loud! That’s a Jen word❤️ Your words today blessed me. Thanks so much.

    • Kelley LeClaire /

      Maren – you have learned a lot from your momma and from your Nana Roz. And you are far wiser than your 14 years!

  2. Sara Riebesel /

    This is amazing. I LOVE your homecoming picture!!! And “craptastic” sounds like a Jen word! 🙂

  3. Tricia Ethier /

    Maren… Your entire family ( & extended friend family) watch you shine and grow every day. Your Mom is proudly cheering for you and I know that your Dad is so proud of the woman you are becoming.

    I love every word of your post… You are a shining star attracting light and love. You may have had to “grow up” and mature a little early, but the grace that you give to yourself and the awareness you have of others are direct pieces of your Mom that you carry with you.

    I’m so glad that you had the very best time and I wish you more moments of too much fun 😘😘

  4. Elisa Dailey /

    Maren you are AMAZING!! YES!!! your mom would want u to hove fun and be happy and I’m sure she is so proud of how far you have come!! You are wise beyond your years…your mom always used to tell me that…and boy was she right!!!
    Have fun,
    Elisa Dailey

  5. koellesimpson /

    Hi Maren – I never met your mom. I saw her first cancer post that went viral and I was hooked on her blog. She was my same age and you girls were the same ages as my own daughters. It hit too close to home for me to ignore. When she asked her followers for help on her website, I jumped at the chance (I’m a web designer). And I helped her customize the little site we are on right now. I only got to speak with her a couple times on the phone, and absolutely CHERISH a ‘thought bubble’ that she sent me as a thank-you that will forever hang proudly in my office where I see it every day. YOU, sweet girl, have your mom’s gift of writing. I’m in awe of your bravery, awareness and grace at your age. And holy crap your shoes are amazing! Let me know when you need your own website/blog 😉

  6. Kelly B /

    So amazing!!!! Your writing is absolutely beautiful as are you! Your mama is so so proud of you!

  7. Becky Palmieri /

    This is stunningly beautiful Maren! And I believe your mom would be so very proud, both in your honesty and in your choice to have “too much fun”. I was able to share this with my 9 yr old daughter tonight, and I told her a bit about your special family.
    We went through a divorce in 2019 and it truly broke her heart. It took a while for her to tell her friends. Thank you for your mature words that have connected with her too.

  8. Michelle Powell /

    Love you beautiful Maren. Jen would be bursting with pride, as we all are too! xxx

  9. Christy /

    Maren, what a beautifully insightful post. You are spot on! You’re ‘too much fun’ moments are not in spite of your grief, but are possible because you were brave enough to feel your grief, if even for just 10 minutes 🙂

    I didn’t know your mom well, but I can say with utmost certainty that she is there with you both in the sad moments and In the joyous ones. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart here. I can see her magical beauty – inside and out – within you ❤️

    “When we see each other’s scars, we love each other more.”
    – Rachel Macy Stafford

    Sending much love and BIG hugs your way 🌸

  10. Lisa Harter /

    Oh Maren!! Your mom has left such a beautiful mark on you. Your way with words, your honesty, your perspective on life, the value you see in friendship, the importance of doing today well. I am so glad you had “too much fun” at homecoming! What a beautiful picture of you! Hugs to both you and Greta!!
    Mrs. Harter

    • “Life changes, but if we let the craptastic moments control the beautiful ones, the beautiful ones will become harder and harder to spot.” Wow, this deep truth bomb is great advice for all of us!!! I’m so impressed w how you are grieving and growing over the past year, 11 months, and 1 day. You intuitively are making space for the hard moments and days but most importantly intentionally seeking joy. That balance is the healthiest place to be but is also incredibly hard to find. Keep being you Maren; Authentic, wise, and seeking joy!

  11. Christin Stegman /

    These thoughts, your writing, and YOU are all absolutely astounding. Keep on keeping on.

  12. Heather Rose /

    Oh Maren- what a treasure to find your post in my inbox tonight. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Great job , Maren. Thanks for sharing truth.

  14. I don’t have any expectations for new blog posts so it’s a rare treat to have a new one to read. How wonderful to hear from you, Maren. You’re the same age as my daughter Katy. I feel certain your mom has lived so well that her influences on you, combined with what makes you Maren, make for a very special person. Any reader of DTW is bound to be proud of you and inspired by your mom as well as her family members. Shout out to Dad. 🙂 Keep going, Maren.

  15. Diane Allen /

    You are loved, Maren!! What a beautiful post!! Your mom IS so proud of who you are!! And what wonderful friends you have. 👍😊❤

  16. Allanah Powell /

    Maren I am so proud of you, you Do Today Well everyday , whether its a happy one or a sad one. Jen would have been so incredibly proud. I remember Jen would just get on with it, no time to dwell, just find a solution, and you follow in her steps. Love you big time Allanah

  17. Michelle /

    Maren, you are your mother’s daughter. I can hear Jen say, “I’ll make a bet with myself to have too much fun.” Continue to face the difficult times in life with that perspective! We can all learn a lot from your approach.

  18. Nancy Brown /

    This was very timely, Maren. You blessed what started off to be a craptastic day!

  19. Catherine Butterworth /

    Dear sweet girl. Your Mother would have been so very proud of you. And that’s ditto for your Dad and Grandparents.

  20. Sharon House /

    Marin, your mom is as proud of you as your dad. What a remarkable young lady you have become. You come from great stock – it shows in your writings. BTW, I am adding a new word to my vocab: craptastic. Love it. it is so on-point.

  21. Sue Nitz /

    Maren, you are an inspiring young lady. This world needs you and your life experiences are uniquely you. God created you for a definite purpose and you are shining in your perspective of an imperfect world. You are meant to be light to the world. God also gave you two wonderful parents that have taught you well about perspective. God bless you sweet girl and keep on shining.

  22. Karin Eppert /

    It’s like I’m listening to your mom talk! I love your honesty – there is no wrong way to do life! 🙂

  23. Emily Smith /

    Maren, what beautiful writing! It is so honest and heartfelt that it made me cry (but in a good way) and laugh!

    I’m so inspired by how you are doing today well, and I am thrilled that you went for it and had as much fun as possible!!! I love fun!!! Good times with good friends buoy us and keep us going.

    I think of your mom often. She did pick great friends! She inspired so many people. I often picture her in heaven and think about how I will see her there again someday!

    Love to you and Brad and Greta too. Keep writing, young beauty!!!

  24. Aunt Annie /

    Maren, You are an amazing and precious young lady! Keep on writing and doing today well! Miss you! Love, Aunt Annie 💕

  25. Norv Mathie /

    So very proud of you Maren. Grandad

  26. Maren that is just beautiful and so honest. Your Mom has taught you well and would be so proud of you.

  27. Jane L. /

    This post takes my breath away. I never met your family but your mom’s blog has had a significant impact on me. She was so generous with her thoughts and emotions – helping so many people. Maren, your post shows all that is good – courage, strength, light, love. Thank you for sharing with the outside world. I really hope you post again.

  28. Carol hover /

    Your mother would(and is) very proud of you. Very well written..

  29. Susanna Filippi /

    I love this so much. Thanks for sharing your heart with us today.

  30. Bonnie /

    Maren,. Your Mom would be so pleased by your post, by your composure, your honesty and beauty. Your Mom loved the Lord and rested in His Strength for her life, your Dad, Greta and you, her eldest. ❤️ Be Blessed as you continue to grow… My prayer is that the same comfort your Mom found in the Lord will be your comfort as well 💗

  31. Tiffany Nabozny /

    Maren, the sun shining today is your mom smiling down as she reads this. You are such a beautiful reflection of her and who she was. And I can absolutely can hear your mom saying “Have too much fun!!” !❤️🤩🥳🙏

  32. Amyrhoo /

    Aww that was a fun read!

  33. Katie Pozzuoli /

    Maren, I never had the pleasure of meeting your mom, but I read her words for many years. I still think of her, and you and your dad and Greta, often. I have no doubt that your mom would be so proud of the young woman you are becoming, and your maturity and outlook on life.

  34. Diana Gibson /

    deja vu moment when saw the heading and the pic – but what a lovely surprise to see Hey, I’m Maren. What a smashing teenager you have become – the right spirit, words, fun, uncertainties, concerns, love of life and friends (am so happy they support you so well, and that you can relate to them and their mum’s whilst appreciating yours for the strength she gave and gives with such great memories). Certainly not the little girl who coloured in at Brett and Eloise’s engagement function!. Rising star of an author by the way!!

  35. Lindsay /

    Maren- you are your own beautiful person, but I see the fruit of parents who created a home of freedom and love as I read your post. You are so special…and we are all grateful to have had a glimpse of your heart. Much love.

  36. 😇🙏😁

  37. I never had the honor of meeting your mom, but I followed her writings here from the first viral post about being diagnosed with cancer, and from that I am 100% positive that she is proud of the young woman you have become.

  38. Hi Maren, one thing I have learned about grief is that we don’t move on, but we can and do move forward.