I have not written about the sad news I received the beginning of July. (I have been so busy with my daughter's wedding.) I received an email from the sister of my dear friend Shawn Thais Peterson. "Thais" as she was known had passed away the end of June. She was a friend of mine since we served as sister-missionaries together in Spain in 1981-1982.
She was one of those people you meet in your life who changes you forever! My life was so blessed by knowing her. When she first arrived in Spain, I had only been there four months. Together we hardly spoke any Spanish. We kinda learned together. We had the best time working together in Jerez de la Frontera.
(one of the many bodegas 'wineries' in Jerez. 'Jerez' means sherry!)
We worked hard and had many memorable experiences. Later we shared an apartment with 2 other sisters in Seville. We both grew to love Spain...the people, the food, the sights...everything!
(left: the Plaza de Espana, in Seville. It is also pictured in one of the Star Wars movies...I think #3)
(right: a beautiful statue in the Parque de Maria Luisa we would pass everyday. It depicts 3 women in love: the one on the right is looking for love, the one in the middle is in love, and the one on the left has lost love. It was one of my favorite statues in Seville.)
A few years ago, Thais was living near Dallas, Texas with her sister. I had just spent 3 days at the Linda Taylor's Quilting facility there and had the chance to extend my stay in Texas a few days so I could go visit Thais. We spent a couple of days together talking and recounting 'the good old days' in Spain. I will cherish that time we had together. I even sat at the piano and accompanied her as she sang some our favorite songs from our mission. What an angelic voice she had! Such a great loss to her friends and dear family, but how richly all our lives are blessed to have known this sweet daughter of our Heavenly Father.
Before I left Spain in 1982, Thais wrote a letter to me. This is part of it:
"I love you Vivian, and I'm grateful for your friendship. Every friend is a drop of love in the bucket I'm collecting to drink from for the eternities." I shall never forget my friend Thais.