On September 14, 2013 many of Anne Thompson’s family and friends will gather to celebrate her 80th birthday. For the record the actual date is September 18, a few days after the gala event. Anne is my Aunty Anne, no relation to the pretzel stores. I thought I would share a few memories of my own to contribute to this reason for a party.
It should be known that our family is a small one. Anne and my Father were born in Toronto, Canada during the early 1930’s just at the time the Great Depression was getting into full swing. Around the same time my mother Nancy was born in Boston and grew up in Marblehead. It was just Anne and Dad and my Mother was an only child. Therefore I had one Aunt and Uncle as did my siblings Scott and Kim. Anne had two sons Bruce and Paul which meant there were only 5 cousins. When our families talked about getting the together the logistics were a little simpler than families with many more brothers and sisters in each generation. We were closer than most. Anne and Winston were like a second set of parents and Bruce and Paul are like brothers.
To me Anne has always had a positive outlook on life, a positive opinion of most people and with that came a great sense of humor. I think of all she has done and it makes me a little tired. Anne raised two boys, took care of her Mum (Grandma), her Mum’s sisters as well as Uncle Bert. She took people on tours to New England and other places, opened up her house to church youth group meetings, Bible studies and hosted countless other events. Anne has always been a student, always reading, always writing and always studying. She is still giving rides to people in need of transportation. In later years she did get to travel to many parts of the world. Winston, Anne, Mom and Dad took a road trip together to Southwestern United States, the last trip together before Uncle Win died. I’m not sure it would have happened without Anne. They all had a great time.
Neither of our families had much extra money. Vacations during my youth sometimes were in tents. Many families would not have survived this kind of closeness, ours just got closer and laughed more. The rich childhood memories of mine include listening to Anne, Winston, Murray (Dad) and Nancy (Mom) laugh late into the evening playing Rook under the Coleman lantern. Even though rain followed us on many of our trips the laughs were still in abundance. When we stayed in cheap hotels, taking rain out of the equation, then as a family would take ill together and regardless, during those times someone was laughing at the irony of the situation.
For the family Anne compiled an impressive history of our English and Canadian roots. Her parents met on the boat as they came to the new world. Everyone has benefited from this labor of love. It is good to know our history and the stories of those that came before us.
Anne has always been there for everyone and is still full of surprises. I suppose that will not stop. She is strong, still full of goodness and optimism. Every once in a while she drops me a note or sends me a book to read. I know she prays for me daily. Now a Great Grandmother she will probably be busier than ever keeping up with all of us.
Soon after I post this I’m sure there will be other things that come to mind. Perhaps I will post those as well.
I hope she enjoys her day. It is not possible for me to be there this time but I do have the intention of getting up to Toronto to see her soon.
The story of Anne’s life is a wonderful one with a few yet to be written. She raised two great sons, kept the family together and moving forward and put herself last in deference to others. “The last shall be first.” I am glad to have been a part of that story. Happy Birthday Aunty Anne. Gook luck with all of the candles.
Muriel Anne Thompson – Born September 18, 1933
Anne Pictured on the right. My Mom Nancy left. At Maggie Bluffs in Magnolia in June 2013 a few days before Dad’s Memorial Service.