“My family will never forget the wonderful article you wrote about my mother. You did such a beautiful job capturing her story! I canâ€™t believe you were only 23 years old when you wrote that piece.”
â€” KATE THOMPSON
I received the above post the other day, and melted when I read it. Not because of the compliment, but the sender. As I mentioned a few days ago, one of the most rewarding, enriching, heart-breaking pieces I’ve ever written came in 1995, when I did a piece for The Tennessean on a woman named Lynn Thompson, a wife and mother of three who was dying of cancer. I was green to the world of illness and death back then … certainly no expert on suffering. In other words, it was very, very, very hard.
But now, sitting here in 2009, here’s what makes me happy: All Lynn Thompson wanted to know was that her three children would be OK … that, even without her influence and guidance, they’d survive and live productive, happy, enriched lives. It was, I believe, her greatest concern. She was able to handle her own demise. But how would that impact her kids? How would it scar them? Could they bounce back from such a loss?
Well, they have. Are they scarred? I’d have to guess yesâ€”who wouldn’t be? But, largely on his own, Warren Thompson seems to have done a wonderful job. All three children graduated from college; work jobs; live lives that are productive and impressive. Warren is a grandfather. I’m learning all this off of Facebook, so my information is limited. But it gives me great prideâ€”great prideâ€”to see how, 15 years later, Lynn’s greatest wishes have come to fruition.
It’s a lasting tribute.