This Week's Article
A Beloved Mother Among Us
By Colly Caldwell
“Her children rise up and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:28).
Today is the Lord’s Day. That is always the most important to us on Sundays. But this Sunday is also recognized in our society as Mothers’ Day. So let me tell you a little bit about a mother we all love.
Dave Bennett contacted us last Sunday afternoon informing us that it is going to be necessary to have Christine move to an assisted living memory care home. This is still in the planning stage and details are quite fluid but it appears likely that she will be moving to the Gainesville, GA area where her daughter Sandy Bennett Cape lives with husband Mark. That move will probably take place within the month or by sometime in June. Dave and his wife Annette have been Christine’s faithful caregivers for more than two years now and have been amazing.
Christine Thompson was born December 14, 1932 at Truman, Arkansas, and grew up there in a large family. Actually there were ten children in her family...five boys and five girls. Two of the boys did not survive young childhood and so she grew up as one of eight children. Besides herself, only two remain: a brother Marion Thompson in California (age 95) and a sister Mary Lou Wise in Arkansas (age 90). Their Dad was a carpenter. He made cabinets for the Singer sewing machine company. He passed away at age 58 when Christine was only 17 years old. You can imagine the struggles in life experienced by her mother and all the children in the days following his death.
Christine obeyed the gospel at about age fourteen. Unlike many in their acquaintance in those days, she did not marry until after her twenty-first birthday. There was family at home to care for. She met George Bennett, however, who was six months her senior (born in May of 1932) and fell in love. She led him to Christ and they married in January, 1953, and moved to Lake Charles, LA. She became a “military wife” and homemaker. She and her husband George lived all over the United States and we might even say, the world, in the days while they were raising their family. George was stationed in Louisiana, Indiana, Southern California, Arkansas, and finally Tampa while stateside between duties abroad.
The two of them had seven children over a period of about twenty years: Barry, Tom, Rick, Sandra, Beth, David, and Evan (five boys and two girls). Of course, they moved around since George was in the military. He worked as a jet engine mechanic working on military planes for many years. When time came to leave, she would pack up the children and a few belongings and go with him, many times traveling alone with several children on a plane because George had to go ahead of them. Dave was born in Tripoli, Libya in North Africa, the sixth child. He said to me, “Mom left the United States with five children and came home with six.” She made the trip overseas with stops along the way with all those kids.
Of course, Christine has been a faithful Christian throughout most of her lifetime. She has been a member at Citrus Park for more than forty years. George was also a Christian. He passed away in 2004. None of us who were present will ever forget his coming forward to be restored at the invitation offered by his son Evan after being away from duty.
We love her dearly and will be praying for her well-being. Dave promised we would have an address to use for sending cards and notes to her when she is settled. We will pass that along to all of you. Christine has seven children, 18 grand, and 26 great-grand-children. With their spouses more than seventy-five in her family. Her children are all in long-term marriages of more than twenty-five years each. What a great and godly mother to talk about on Mothers’ Day.