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L to R: Russell, Carol, & Robert Thomas, Monte Vista CO


I have many, many fond memories of my Mom. The earliest were from Monte Vista, Colorado - which was a great place to be a little kid! Lots and lots of wide open spaces surrounded by breathtaking mountains. The Thomas kids would spend hours and hours outdoors - exploring the small town on bikes, playing sports in the yard, playing in the snow (lots and lots of snow!), etc. And when it was dinner time, Mom would stand on the back porch and blow a whistle, which meant we'd better stop whatever we were doing and head home. I also remember getting "the eye" from Mom in church when she would give us that "you'd better straighten up" look from the choir loft as we were fidgeting or talking in the pews - or worse yet, rolling pencils on the wooden floor under the pews during the service.

Our move from the idyllic, Mayberry-type environment of Monte Vista to the hustle and bustle of Lanham MD was a big change for the entire family. While I did not personally witness this specific event, I heard about Mom driving several times through the clover leaf-style entrance/exit ramps near our apartment onto the highway, unsure of when and/or how to proceed to her desired destination. Her directional strategy seemed to be: "When in doubt, just keep driving forward and eventually you'll figure it out". But despite moving to such a large, chaotic and at times overwhelming new city, and working full time, Mom still worked tirelessly to ensure we had a nice meal on the table every night, clean clothes and sheets, and a clean home to enjoy. That's just what you did - you show up every day, do your job(s) to the best of your ability, and you never give up. Ever.

Fast forward to our next move to Rockville MD. I was in the fifth grade, and joined the neighborhood tackle football team which practiced at the elementary school field across the street from our townhouse. After one of the early practices during which I failed to perform to the coach's high standards and he informed me of this fact in a very loud voice (ie, yell), I went home and announced to Mom that I was quitting the team. She would have none of it. I forget her exact words, but she informed me that I was showing up the next day at practice and would perform to the best of my ability, because you should never give up. Ever.

And so I did show up the next day at practice. And the day after. And the day after. And I did my best and gradually improved to the point that I progressed from last to first string. But during the process, I learned a very important life lesson - you show up every day, you do your best at whatever the task(s), and you never give up. Ever.

Mom exemplified this principle throughout her life, and I'm forever grateful for her example. Her life was not easy, and she overcame many, many challenges because of her determination. I think her strategy for driving actually works in all areas of life - "When in doubt, just keep driving forward and eventually you'll figure it out."


It was almost a year ago that I met Carol for the first time. We met at one of her favorite restaurants. During dinner, Carol showed me family pictures and told me stories about the different family members. She was very proud of her family.
A few weeks later I met Carol for the second time. Bob and I had been at a golf tournament in Maryland. After being in the hot sun all day, we needed to freshen up before we met one of Bobís friends for dinner. Roy and Carol opened up their home to us so we could freshen up and relax before we met John. Carol was very generous and made sure that we had everything that we needed to get ready.
I am so thankful that I got to see Carol during this last year. She was always kind to me and welcomed me into the Thomas family

File nameTHOMAS Carol , Russell, Robert Monte Vista.JPG
File Size537.99k
Dimensions1536 x 1024
Linked toLiving
AlbumsFAMILY Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas

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