Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mary Thompson

I have known Mary all of my life, literally.

She has always been old~ to me.
She passed away last Sunday at the age of 93.

Her son Curtis, who gave the eulogy yesterday, said his Mom planned her entire funeral.
She wrote her own eulogy...5 pages long.
She did her own flowers, and made her own doily, that were on top her casket.Whenever she would see me she would treat me like no one else was in the room. She would light up, and say, "Oh Jill! How are you dear?" and give me a big hug.

Once when I was about 13 she was asked to substitute one evening teaching our Young Women's class at church. She told us during the lesson how she didn't feel like coming that evening. She was tired and just wanted to stay home. So she sat on her bed and started singing, "Choose the Right." When she finished singing that song, she knew she needed to come teach us, and so she did. Then she sang the song for us.

I thought back many times throughout my life to that song because of her. Sometimes when I would think of making the wrong, and easier choice, I would hear Mary singing, "Choose the right when a choice is placed before you. In the right, the Holy Spirit guides. And it's light is forever shining o'er you. When in the right your spirit confides. Choose the right. Let wisdom mark the way before. In its light. Choose the right. And God will bless you ever more."

When my oldest son Brock was just 2, (back in 1979) Mary was called to be the nursery teacher in our ward. So every Wednesday morning Brock got to hear stories, sing songs and make crafts, while I was enjoying time with the other women in our ward. He absolutely adored Sister Thompson. Below you will see how he insisted on napping with the name tag she made for him. John Duncan dedicated her grave. He dated my sister Robin for 8 years, so he was like part of our family during that time. Mary took care of John since he was a tiny baby until age 12, while his parents worked. He said she always spoke so positive to him. Instead of saying, "Don't hit", she would say, "Be kind". Instead of saying at church, "Be quite" she would say "Be reverent"

I saw John for the first time yesterday since the 1980s.
Here he is with his mother, Joyce.

I wish I had gotten John's wife in the picture too, but she was not standing right by him at the time.
And to go back a few years,
here is John and Robin, with Brock, in 1979One of the quotes from the very last talk, I just had to share. I had to find the speaker (Dr. Thomas Thomas) at the cemetery to ask where he found it. It was taken from the play Joan of Lorraine:

"Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing. Nevertheless, they give up their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it's gone..."
Mary's son said in his talk yesterday that he is "nearly giddy" thinking about the reunion Mary is having with her husband, and her 5 children and 1 grandson, who have gone before her. She said she wanted to go home, she was ready.

I wish somehow I could get a copy of the 5 page eulogy she wrote. I would so love to read her words!

She chose for the closing song, "Oh My Father"
If you have time, really listen to these words. I have heard this song all of my life, but yesterday, at the end of her service, I heard it in a different way. I believe it was Mary's influence.


Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

What a privilege for you to have known such a kind woman. You have honored her with your words. It touches my heart.

Lisa said...

Mary sounds like a most remarkable and wonderful woman. What a privilege to have such influential people in your life.

I'm surprised no one read her eulogy since she did write it. Too bad, but maybe you can ask her son to read it & share it with us. I'd like to hear what she had to say.

I'm goiing to take that quote and put it on my blog. It's the best one I've heard yet!

Eileen said...

What a wonderful tribute your post is to Mary.
What a wonderful tribute her life was to God and those that she came in contact with. What better thing in life can one do than to bring another closer to God?

I love that she taught with affirmation instead of negativity. I'm going to take a lesson from that and try to do the same with my grandson.

Thanks so much for sharing this Jill.
And thanks for always being so kind to me.

Ammy said...

That is beautiful, Jill! What a shining example I am sure she must have been. And what a privilege it must have been for you to know her...(AND for her to know you).

Richard said...

Mary was a wonderful woman. I remember Ward (Home) Teaching her and the entire Thompson clan with Dad as a 6 or 7 year old when we all lived south of Belmont in the old Fresno First Ward. (We used to visit the Howard Sailors family too.) Mary has known much of family loss in her life. It is interesting to note that 5 children and 1 grandchild preceded her in death, yet 3 of her siblings survive!

grandmapeg said...

What a wonderful lady and friend Mary sounds like. I love the way she influenced many people and the way she taught with positive words. I also love this song, Oh My Father, with it's wonderful message. We sang that at both of my parents' funeral. What a nice tribute you have posted for her. Thanks for sharing this.

Anna said...

I used to see Mary at the temple quite often, not knowing who she was, but I was so impressed with her dedicated temple attendance and the wonderful spirit that she radiated. Just a couple of weeks ago I realized that I hadn't seen her for a while, and now I know why. Thank you for the post Jill.

Jill said...

How interesting Anna that you saw her. Her son mentioned in his talk that she did temple work every Tuesday and Wednesday, and when she got sick recently she was so upset that she could no longer attend. She was also teaching piano until just a few weeks ago.

Dad and Susan said...

This is a beautiful post Jill. I only knew her for a very short time while we still lived in Cedar View Ward. What I remember is her very large smile. Your dad and I were the greeters and she always seemed so happy and upbeat. What a remarkable woman! Love, Dad and Susan

Sue said...

She sounds like a wonderful person, and I love that she had so much say about her funeral. Clearly, she was and will be well remembered.