Randy Thompson wrote and shared this at the Hope House kick-off dinner in April 2017.
Years ago, in the days of your youth, did you have bold dreams? I did. I wanted to be a race car driver and win the Indianapolis 500. Oh, the glory that would be mine. Sadly, my Dad wasn’t overly supportive. He told me to hitch up the disk to his Allis Chalmers tractor and race it across the fields. And I did. I spent several race days sitting on that tractor tilling our good southern Indiana family farm ground, listening to the 500 race on the radio. The tractor averaged about 4 MPH, but I have a fertile imagination and could see the track, hear the scream of the race cars, and envision the spectacle of the 250,000 fans lucky enough to be there. I could feel the thrill of side by side racing and of just beating out my hero AJ Foyt to the finish line by mere inches. Maybe your bold dream was to play in the World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals, or to be a singer adored by all the world, or even to be president. Most of us had childish dreams that never materialized, but I hope that doesn’t stop you from dreaming boldly. Perhaps life’s experiences have tempered but, I pray, not trampled your dreams. You have been invited here tonight so that three couples, bonded by common tragedy, can share their big bold dream with you.
Your hosts tonight are Mike and Teresa St. Louis, Jon and Monica Wamsley, and I am Randy Thompson and Gina is my wife. We are bonded in friendship, but also in the agony of loss of a child. Our situations were each different. Mike and Teresa lost twin babies, Samuel and Selah, born prematurely and living only a few days. Jon and Monica lost Lucy, born early, only to live a few hours. Gina and I lost Dan who lived 25 years. Our common response to the loss of our children was of hopelessness. That and doubt. What did I do wrong? Could I have prevented this? Is God punishing me for past sins?
Our three families have mourned our losses in solitude, with each other, and with friends and family. Good support has proven essential for a healthy recovery. Our pain has diminished but will never go away, nor should it. As for myself, I constantly wrestle with one basic question: How can I turn the awful tragedy of losing my son into something good? We have a dream. We call the dream Hope House. Like my childish dream of winning the Indianapolis 500, this is a big dream. But that dream was self-centered. Hope House is about helping others. Hope House is about helping families who have experienced the loss of a child to find hope again. Sometimes the Hope House dream seems too big, perhaps even impossible. And it would be if it were only our dream. But we three couples believe in a big powerful God that can do anything through His people. Please allow us to share our bold dream with you.
Click here to access the videos and other information presented at the Hope House kick-off dinner.