I Will Be Strong for You Mom | #pinkkids

September 21, 2014, Maureen and I stood with our kids at the altar of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, IL, outside of Chicago. It was a Sunday. We were renewing our vows from our wedding day, July 14, 1990, 24 years earlier, with the fruits of our love, our kids, by our side. Little did we know, that one month later, October 21, 2014, an entirely new chapter would start in lives. Following is an essay that Kyla wrote for one of her classes this week. It seems entirely fitting to share it on this 47th #powdereddonutday. It also seems appropriate to share a sneak peek at the logo for #pinkkids, but more on that later… ___________________________________________________ October 21, 2014. The day I lost my mother. The day my life changed forever. The day my family’s life changed forever. I was woken up that morning by my aunt, my mom’s sister, feeling part of myself missing, but at the same time, I was hopeful and excited that I would get to see my mom at lunch. The day went by a lot slower than usual days; I was continually looking at the clock, waiting for the class to be over, wanting lunch to come sooner, so I could give my mom a hug and tell her everything was going to be okay. After chapel, the Head of the Lower School at St. Andrew’s pulled me aside and asked me to come with him. Thoughts were racing through my head; my heart was racing; I was so excited to finally to go see my mom. All of those happy...

Grief is Not a Phase | The Unexpected Journey

“The more we speak of the reality of grief, the easier it becomes. The more people tell the truth about how hard this is—how hard it is to be alive, to love, and to lose—the better this life becomes for everyone. Even for those who think that grief is a problem to be solved.” Excerpt From: Megan Devine & Mark Nepo. “It’s OK That You’re Not OK.” It is easy to write about love. It is not as easy to write about losing the love of your life. As I look back across my many years of writing, I realize how blessed I am. Blessed by having had almost 25 years of marriage to a woman I cherished, adored, and loved. She was and is my soulmate. She was and is the love of my life. She was and is the mother of our children. She was and is a very big part of who I am. She knew me. She didn’t just know my story. She knew me in a way that no one really knows me. Except God. She knew my soul, because her soul was my soul; my soul was her soul. I have spoken and written frequently about love and my love for Maureen, the kids, and the power of love to change everything, but I haven’t written about the inner part. The hard part. The grief part. The part that is alone, even though it is surrounded. The part that keeps itself busy to mask things. The part of me that has been busy for over 3 1/2 years, but that for the first...
The Powdered Donut Manifesto | 21 …7…217

The Powdered Donut Manifesto | 21 …7…217

Where in New Jersey? Ridgewood. That is in Bergen County he said… but I already knew. We had a few minutes before our conference call was to begin yesterday morning. I always like to ask where people are, physically, because even though we are voices on a phone, we are still somewhere. Well, that is true for those of us on this side of heaven. For those of us on the other side of heaven, like my beloved Maureen, she shows up in the most interesting of places. She also shows up at the important moments, those moments where her presence is a reminder, a reminder of not only her love but a reminder to me that I am following my own path of love. As an entrepreneur, husband and father, those reminders are important. My last post in the Powdered Donut Manifesto series was June 30, 2017 on the girls and my way to New York, actually. We were headed to New York City for the 4th of July weekend. We were not only going to celebrate, enjoy, and visit special places, but we were also headed to the Statue of Liberty for a special moment of remembrance. As I have written previously, the Statue of Liberty is a special place. It is where I proposed to Maureen during the 4th of July weekend in 1989. I remember the moment vividly and described it to my girls in detail as we walked around Liberty Island together last year. One can no longer walk directly up to the pedestal where Maureen and I had sat on the grass, where I...

Cancer Sucks | Kyla Thompson

I am privileged to be the father of three amazing kids, Taylor (19), Kyla (16), and Katelyn (almost 14). These three kiddos are the products of the love Maureen and I shared over almost 25 years of marriage, prior to her passing after an on-and-off 11 year battle with breast cancer on the morning of October 21, 2014. Every so often they share something with me they have written as part of a school project. The following was written by Kyla earlier this spring for her English class, part of an advocacy project. As a dad, I hate that my kids don’t have their mom. But their love for her shows itself in all that they do and all that they write. I love you Kyla. Thank you for letting me share this gift of your writing with others. Thank you also for the pictures you chose for me to include. I had not remembered the one of you and mom on the couch, the weekend before her passing. Friends, this image captures the essence of Kyla’s word. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. When you see it, you will know that cancer does indeed suck. Cancer Sucks. Cancer sucks. Plain and simple. Cancer takes more than 7.6 million people away from their families and friends each year. Likewise, 12.6 million people discover they have cancer each year. That is not fair. No one should ever have to go through that. Those words, “you have cancer” are three of the hardest words one can ever hear. My family heard those words in the spring of 2004. People...

The Powdered Donut Manifesto | 21 and a Cup of Dirt

21. “Once in a Lifetime.” A cup of dirt. You might wonder what any of these things have to do with a powdered donut or the fight with cancer for that matter, but they do. I’m on a flight from Minneapolis to New York City, and now seems like a really good time to add to the Powdered Donut Manifesto series (story of the powdered donut). Last Sunday, I flew up to Minneapolis with Kyla and Katelyn, our 2 precious daughters born from the love I shared with Maureen for almost 25 years of marriage. Kyla’s team, Austin Performance 15 Asics, was playing in the American division of the Girl’s National Junior Volleyball tournament. It was a fun week. Being a Texan, the idea that the highs were only in the 70s was a blessing in itself, but the time was precious for other reasons. Maureen was reminding us frequently that the line between heaven and earth is thin… I’ve written about “thin spaces” previously and explained the concept in this post.  One of the “thin spaces” that happened this week was at a Whataburger in Phoenix as my son, Taylor (18), and four of his high school friends, stopped for a “healthy” snack on their way to Yosemite to hike up Half Dome and explore the many other trails and falls there. As he made his order, he was handed this number to set on his table. 21. 21 is a pretty magic number for those that know our story. For you see, Maureen passed on the morning of October 21, 2014. Rather than allow this day, this...