Dear Friends and Family,
As I now approach the anniversary of Bill‘s passing on Christmas of 2022, I have many mixed emotions. Needless to say, some days have been quite difficult at times. However, there have been many blessings for which I am very thankful. I have many happy memories of our life together and the precious family that we raised. Our church, Westminster Presbyterian in Gainesville, Texas, had a beautiful memorial service and reception on April 16 that meant so much to us. It was a joy to see many longtime friends, some driving quite a distance to attend.
I know that God is not caught unaware and is perhaps teaching me patience as I now walk through this often-confusing time. The love, prayers, and support from so many have been of great comfort. The physical weakness and thyroid issues from the stress of loss and concurrent separate virus illnesses during that time are slowly, but surely, improving.
Some of you know that I made a move here in Lake Kiowa this past March. I certainly had no idea that I would ever be doing this so soon or that it would happen the way that it did. It was pretty miraculous in all the details and assistance of several incredible people who made it happen. Our home on Kiowa Dr. West was realistically not one that would likely have sold fast. When we made our purchase six years prior, it had been sitting vacant for quite some time. However, it did fit our uncommon needs after Bill’s stroke. While large and still nice in some features, there were now lots of things in need of repair from even before we had made the purchase. The buyers from just across the street, however, took it “as is” and gave me enough profit to update my now current home. What is so utterly amazing to me is that the current basic living area, though small, has a wonderful large addition to house all of my musical instruments in one place, plus an adjoining office for my computer and midi studio. Through the years, we have needed to have rather large homes, even after the children were grown just for these extra “babies“ that don’t grow up and eventually move out!
I continue being thankful for our dear friend, Don Rogers, who loved and helped care for Bill throughout the seven years of struggles after his stroke. He now continues his assistance in countless ways while updating as well as repairing the older 1980’s home in which I now reside. Contrastingly, the woodsy and quiet location is restorative and serene. The only drawback is for the location to be almost impossible for first-time guests to find in the “twists and turns” of east Lake Kiowa! Most need to be led by someone (usually poor Don!) on their first trip! Fortunately, he and his wife Kathy live nearby, so he can guide anyone through this confusing maze almost in his sleep because of his many years of residence. I still can’t really give visitors concise and clear directions!
I am aiming for an estate sale in the spring or summer of 2024 to sell or give away articles I can’t find a space for or no longer need. This project is taking so much longer than I first thought. While in some ways being a positive task and distraction during this period of adjustment, it is at times also quite emotional in the memories of my mind and forces me to work at this in slow increments…but eventually.
Our children are all very busy with their lives and families. Mark, now “Dr. Mark Thompson,” is praying for a full-time position so that he can end the part-time adjunct teaching that requires additional three 10 pm-3 am night stocking shifts for Kroger Grocery to make ends meet! Needless to say, he has a grueling schedule! Mark has so much more to offer as a professor in addition to his being quite patient with students. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Melody and John are having to get used to Matthew being away at college for the second year now. He is doing well in his studies. Fortunately, distance is not so far, so he does get home quite often and is there during the summer. Little, energetic Jordyn is now in the fourth grade. She started a nearby private Christian elementary school this fall and is doing well. Melody has some mornings where she stays for a few hours early on as an aide, which helps pay toward tuition. With a number of piano students and church responsibilities with children and musicals, there is never a dull moment! John is also finding life can sometimes be too busy when you are now the “president.” One can no longer always just leave at 5:00!
Of course, with five children ages 3 to 11, there are not too many quiet moments for Melissa and Darin! This past year they made a wonderful move to nearby Lucas, Texas, just about a mile or so away from Lovejoy Elementary, the “Little Red School House” where Melissa attended when we first moved to Texas and lived in Fairview! They all appreciate now having over an acre of ground with a creek and woods in the back! They have carved out trails despite mom and dad getting a bad taste of poison ivy! The kids love being outside and having a place to run off their boundless energy!
While it is quite a drive, they have found a wonderful church home at Park Cities Presbyterian in Dallas. Truly, I have not often heard such deep and meaningful sermons as are spoken from these conservative, godly PCA pastors. The music for me is “over-the-top” beautiful and moving! Melissa and the children, except for the three-year-old Camryn, are all singing in the choirs. Through today’s technology, the service can be viewed at many different times as well as live, so I can see them singing at www.pcpc.org. I often catch a glimpse of the grandchildren peering over the railings near the organ, watching the gifted organist play his mighty postludes!)
Soon I hope to at last be able to attend again our Gainesville congregation. Regretfully, until my immune system and strength are a bit stronger, I have been advised to avoid crowds right now. A couple of weeks ago I unexpectedly seemed to have picked up something that really laid me low approximately two days after an hour or so stop at the local AT&T store regarding my phone.
A week or so before losing Bill, I was informed that the audio version of “My Tapestry Journey” was now available. I am told that many find this format preferable in their busy schedules. I put the link aside last year as far as sharing with others, or even listening myself, during that painful time last Christmas. The story would have been quite different during my adulthood years had it not been for my dear, capable husband facilitating and being so generous in providing the necessary tools for learning, musical growth, and composition.
In closing, I wish all of you a most blessed Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior! I love the words of “O Holy Night” and the phrase“ a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices!” which seems so appropriate facing the uncertainties of our current world. May God protect our country from so many who sadly seem intent on its destruction, and may He renew our hearts and minds to trust and follow His ways in our lives.
Melissa and Darin’s awesome back yard!
Our family together at Bill’s memorial service. Our capable, caring head of the Thompson household is greatly missed!
This past October, my two sisters, Julie and Melinda and their husbands Bob and Greg, made a quick trip to Texas to visit. Four days was just not long enough, but grateful they would make the effort in that short time-frame.
I do love the trees!
A month ago, these beautiful “spider lilies” popped up in the grass out of nowhere. I already have spread them among the flowerbeds that were rather empty in spots… and they are propagating themselves!
My new residence at 105 Santa Fe Trail, Lake Kiowa, Texas.