I wasn’t ready

david thompson

He was a co-worker, then my friend and mentor.

I began working with David in 2000 in the Office of Marketing & Communications. I was new to the PR field, but David showed me the ropes. As the editor of the Georgia Southern Magazine he started me off writing the tidbits sent by alumni in the Chronicles section. From there he assigned me stories of those on the alumni board, then stories on our alumni. It became a joke between David and myself that he needed to assign the “hot” alumni to me (and there were a couple I was able to interview…thanks, David 🙂 ).

David, my husband (Danny), and I began having our weekly lunch ritual and eventually brought our co-worker Ryan into the fold. These lunches were a great time for us to vent about our jobs and other co-workers (we even had code names for them), and sports.

I left the Office of Marketing & Communications in 2008, but still had my weekly lunches with David…with a faculty schedule sometimes these lunches weren’t as often. We still emailed and IM’d to discuss the goings-on of his office. When he retired in April 2017, we still had lunch, but not as regularly. We (Danny, David, and I) ate at Shane’s so often when he’d arrive before us the cashier would ask where his son was (referring to my husband, who is not his son). We all got a good laugh from that one and teased David mercilessly.

While I was in grad school working on my PhD I often contacted David for his editing expertise. Although he didn’t particularly like the topic of many of my papers (the film “Twilight”), he still read through them providing feedback and edits. When I asked him to proof what I hope will one day be a published article from my dissertation, his first comment was ‘it isn’t about vampires is it?’

There were so many jokes, so many stories between us and it’s hard to believe there won’t be any new memories to make. I know he’s no longer in pain and for that I am thankful. It’s just going to take our hearts longer to heal. Godspeed, David!

His obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/statesboroherald/obituary.aspx?n=charles-david-thompson&pid=191083814&fhid=5347

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It’s been a hard day

12This morning was like most other Saturdays, I slept in, had breakfast and then decided what needed to be accomplished (or attempted) today. When checking Facebook earlier this afternoon I saw the “you have memories” notification, so I clicked on it, as I often do. A couple of the “memories” stopped me dead in my tracks and the tears easily followed. You see, eight years ago today (Oct. 29) my best friend lost her battle with cancer.

Cindy and I met when we were in junior high at church camp in Southern Illinois. Our hometowns were a little more than an hour apart, and since we couldn’t drive, we became pen pals to keep in touch. (Side note: before there were cell phones or computers to keep in touch people would use paper and writing instruments and send them in the mail). In high school, once we had those coveted drivers licenses we would drive to visit one another or attend concerts together. Our junior year in college Cindy transferred to Milligan College where I had started the year before (freshman year was completed at a local junior college and I began at Milligan my sophomore year). We had our ups and downs, as many roommates do, but our friendship remained and, I believe, grew stronger.

The memories I have our college days include the day I thought Cindy was trying to burn down the dorm…or at least our room. She didn’t realize how much time she had set the microwave when warming her pop tart, so instead of a several seconds, she set it to the torch it setting and the breakfast pastry began to smoke. Our room, and much of the hall, smelled like burned strawberry pop tart for a few days. We also liked to play practical jokes on our suitemates. We TP’d their room while they slept one night, but my personal favorite is the time we used a rope to tie to their door handle to the door across the hall (she was in on it) and locked our bathroom door – this meant they had no way out. 😉  We let them out…eventually. Milligan is in eastern Tennessee and is not far from the small town of Elizabethon which, at the time anyway (not sure if it’s still there) had a drive-in. (Side note: a drive in is when you drive your vehicle to an outdoor movie theater, park, and have a speaker that fits on your vehicle window). The school was having a movie nite at the drive-in, so Cindy, our suitemates and I decided to go. This drive-in charged per person, not per car, so we wondered if we could get away with putting someone in the trunk of Cindy’s car. Great idea, we thought…Cindy drove a Nissan Pulsar and had a small trunk. How do I know the trunk is small? You guessed it, I’m the one who took the bet to ride in the trunk and face possibly getting caught and us getting kicked out of the drive-in. We waited until we were about half a mile from the drive-in, we pulled over and I hopped in the trunk. Riding in the trunk makes for a bumpy ride – but we had so much fun – I still don’t know how we didn’t get caught given how much we were all laughing inside that car. Then there was the time Cindy tried to teach me and Tina (one of our suitemates) how to drive a stick shift (the Pulsar was a stick). I did pretty well on flat surfaces, but not so great when stopping on hills. Tina, well, she didn’t do so well at getting it out of park LOL!

We were in each others weddings, we got together every Christmas after graduation, called one another on birthdays, and sometimes called “just because.” When she told me she had cancer, I was in disbelief. She was too young. She had just given birth to her son and her daughter was only four. She still lived in Southern Illinois and I was (and still am) living in south Georgia. As much as I wanted to be by her side during her treatments and anything she needed, I couldn’t. So I called as often as I could and I prayed, I prayed more than I ever had before. We were able to spend one more Christmas together, and I was able to see her one last time a few months before she went home with Jesus.

There are times out of the blue I will start missing her. One day I started crying in Walmart of all places over the cheeses in my cart. You see at Milligan (when we were students) there were two options for dinner and one always contained cheese, and if that wasn’t enough cheese for you, there was a block of cheese from which you could take a chunk. After graduation we would often joke that we were cheese connoisseurs and how many different cheeses we currently had in our fridges. So, that day I had a variety of cheeses and it made me think of her and how I couldn’t call her to joke about it.  There are so many other things I miss about her and they hit me at different times, but today I thought I needed to write about her, to let others know what a truly wonderful person she was.

I will never forget how much she could make me laugh, and how much I treasured our friendship. Today my tears are of frustration and anger because her kids didn’t get the opportunity to know and love her, and because I miss her so much. Cancer sucks. It sucks so hard and has taken too many good people from me. I know she’s in heaven and knowing her she’s asking all the questions of life we wish we could ask. I also think she’s looking down on her kids and husband watching out for them. She’s our guardian angel, but I still wish she were here with us.

Worry, worry, go away!

peaceI’ve had a lot on my mind for the past 24 hours since the call from the doctor’s office.  I went in for a yearly mammogram a week ago, yesterday they called saying they needed to take additional films on one side. This is the same side which was biopsied three years ago (and came back negative). The first thing I did, after hanging up the phone, was cry. I cried because I was afraid, I cried because I was frustrated. Once I got over that, I prayed.

In John 14, Jesus promises to be with us and for us to not be afraid. While at times the world and all that can happen to us is scary, the one thing I keep coming back to is to trust that God will take care of me. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

It’s easy to be afraid, to worry, to be anxious. It’s hard to let go and let God. It’s easy to pick the wide path, it’s harder to choose the narrow one instead. It’s easy to listen to the world, it’s hard to listen to God. But if we can be still…quiet…we can be overcome with his spirit of comfort, knowing He will take care of us. He will take all of our worry, our anxieties, our fears and hold us tight. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not at all afraid, but each time I feel afraid or anxious I say a prayer. I pray for him to take it from me, to give me comfort. I trust he will take care of me…no matter what…all I have to do is ask.

 

 

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What’s all the fuss about?

How can anyone watch the above ad and feel hatred? I think it is cute and shows a family – mom, dad & daughter – who love one another. In today’s world where marriages are falling apart rather than staying together, this particular ad show a family together. Race was something that did not even come into my mind when seeing the ad the first time, I saw an adorable little girl with her parents.

Why does race matter and why are people making such a stink about the family being interracial? It makes no sense to me. In a USA Today article,  Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios, said, “There are many kinds of families, and Cheerios celebrates them all.” She’s right, whether anyone wants to acknowledge it or not.  A friend of mine posted on Facebook that he found the ad to be a “beautiful reflection” of family.

You’ve heard it before (probably from your mother), but here’s to those that are complaining about this ad, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Get on that bike and ride!

Bike

Schwinn Delmar Women’s Cruiser Bike

My birthday recently passed and my husband asked what I wanted as a gift. My first choice was to swim with the dolphins (Discovery Cove or another similar program). He responded by telling me we were going to the beach and I could swim in the ocean with them. For those who don’t know, I don’t swim in the ocean – I barely go more than 2 feet in the water. Not a fan of what I cannot see. Also have to blame my parents for letting me see Jaws when I was a child – still scarred from that.

Anyway, the other thing I told him was that I’d like a bike. So, on my birthday to Walmart we went in search of a bike.  Being 5’3″ it was hard to find a bike where I didn’t feel I was going to fall off before ever sitting down. Also, I didn’t want a bike with brakes on the handlebars. After about an hour of perusing Walmart’s selection I found my pretty, pink, princess bike (that’s what my husband kept calling it).

I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was in middle school, so I was hoping the old adage was true – it’s just like riding a bike (meaning it’s so easy to do you can’t forget how). With my new helmet strapped on, I got on my new bike and I rode. Thus proving the old adage true.