Thursday marked another drive to Chattanooga for the Friday memorial service for my brother Bill. He would have been well pleased.
Many of his and wife Betty’s friends attended to pay their respects. All three daughters – Ruth, Robin and Roberta – were there from CA, Nashville and West Virginia. His granddaughter Marcy made her sixth trip this year from CA in his honor. The girls’ cousin Milton and wife Mary Lynn drove over from middle TN, and Robin’s boss and a colleague made the two and a half hour drive from Nashville to support her.
In a previous post, I told you about one of Bill’s favorite jokes. He carried a special card in his wallet and loved asking folks, “Would you like to see my pride and joy?” With great flourish, he then presented the card that you see here – a can of Pride and a bottle of Joy. It always tickled him. Marcy and Robin had a stack of these cards printed up and available next to the sign-in book. It brought a smile to every guest’s face.
After the gathering, the five Thomas girls, along with our lenient chaperone Mike, went out to a great dinner hosted by Ruth. We had a wonderful time with laughter, family history shared and good stories. When in the midst of dinner the restaurant experienced a (brief) power outage, sweet Roberta piped up, “This is great! Now we can all see like Aunt Diane.” It was a very special evening that we’ll all remember and treasure. The five of us were on skype today for good-byes and promises to keep in touch as the three out-of-state ladies were winding down their trips.
The weekend, full of laughter and love, was a fitting tribute to Bill Thomas.
The two-person photo is of Marcy and me. The Thomas girls are (from left) Robin, Marcy, me, Roberta and Ruth.