My (Ben’s) grandfather, Alfred Marshall Thompson, passed away last Thursday, December 4, after battling complications from old age and pneumonia.
Granddad was a sweet and sensitive man, a man of many good deeds and few words. He was always doing kind things for others and smiled all the time. The weeks I spent with my grandparents when I was younger remain some of the best weeks of my life. I was nobody’s brother or the youngest child, I was the grandson, royalty for the week.
They both loved me in a way I only felt from my grandparents. Grandmom passed away in 2004, and I am glad they will be reunited. I’ll miss Granddad. I saw him two weeks ago and knew it was the last time I would see him alive, and I felt peaceful and sad at the same time. I had a chance to look in his big blue eyes and say goodbye.
The funeral was today, December 8, in Wichita Falls, TX, and it went well. It was a small family service and it was a nice close to a wonderful life. We all shared tears and laughs as we remembered this kind, gentle man who showed us how to care.
This whole blogging thing is helpful to me. Thanks for being my vents around the nation (not sure if I have international readers). I realize I am one of several hundreds of thousands or millions that are or will be laid off before this is all finished. As difficult as it has been, the support we’ve received has been awesome and a blessing to say the least. God is at work in our lives and we hope we can be open and ready for change (and not in the political slogan sense). “Yes, He [God] Can” is the motto we are trying to follow.
This weekend we are meeting with a mission team we have considered joining for the last 3 months or so. For all you changeologists, we are in the contemplation phase of this decision. The team is looking at going to Dublin, Ireland later in mid-2009, and we would follow next year. We’ve been in prayer for a while now about this opportunity and we are looking for our markers to line up, as Curt Sparks would say. Being missionaries is something we’ve both considered at different times, although we rarely talked about it because we didn’t know if the other person was serious. We can’t help but think about all the different things pointing us in this direction. As I wrote somebody the other day, it is a whirlwind right now!
It looks like the man is going to be a little flexible on the time. I strongly expressed my concern to them and think it made some sort of difference. It is amazing what cussing someone out can do (just kidding!). I mean, it is amazing what it can do, but I did not do it. Anyway, it looks like I will have a little more time to transition clients as well as transition myself. Thank you for praying for this to happen.
Our plan is for me to go on unemployment for a few weeks and then we, being Monica, Cali, and I, are going to take a six month road trip around the US and make money through 1. A subscription blog (like $2-$5/month) 2. Photography 3. Finding small jobs while on our travel and 4. Renting out our house while we are gone. We may have to wait until it gets a little warmer because I want to go west first. Some of you may think I’m joking. Trust me, Wally World won’t be closed when we get there.
Not only has my place of employment decided to discontinue the counseling program, they decided to end it on December 31st. I may start 2009 unemployed! If you are praying for this situation, I ask that you pray the administration can see we need more time to end this program. It is extremely unprofessional to end a counseling program this quick and it is potentially harmful to clients. This is also a terrible time to end a program like this (just think of how stressful your holidays are).
I feel like Clark on Christmas Vacation when he gets the jelly-of-the-month club instead of a bonus. Please, no one go Cousin Eddie on my CEO.
Ben and Monica are superheroes living in Memphis. They have the most adorable puppy on earth and live in a house with a red door. Together they are unstoppable, and apart they are still pretty awesome.