I am not a writer or a columnist, and this is only the second time that I have been led to write for a newspaper. The first time was 10 years ago, when I wrote my farewell letter to my beloved Thomson as my family moved back to our hometown of Hopewell, Va.
We left for Todd to publish the same newspaper that his dad published for 29 years. Leaving Thomson was not easy, but it turned out to be the most rewarding thing -- but not for career reasons.
After we had been back for six months, Todd's mom was diagnosed with a recurring cancer. Our time in Virginia allowed us to spend the quality time with our family that we would not have been able to while living so far away. Our son, David, was able to reconnect and spend time with his grandparents and other family members.
Todd's mom's condition worsened, and she was eventually placed in hospice care. She was an amazing woman, and fought for two years until the Lord took her home. Six months later, Todd's dad passed away from complications after surgery for pancreatic cancer.
It was at this time that we knew why we were sent back to Virginia. God allowed us to spend three wonderful years with our family, and I am so grateful for having that opportunity. It was at this time that we were really missing Thomson and wanted to get back -- or at least closer.
Todd accepted a position in South Carolina in May 2003, so we were getting closer. We wanted our son to have a stable high school experience because we had relocated so much when he was growing up. We were fortunate to achieve this goal, and he made lifelong friends, played various sports and was accepted to the University of South Carolina as a result. I love South Carolina, and it has been great, but it wasn't Georgia.
When we found out that there was a job opportunity in Thomson, we were elated. We had already lived here twice before. Who moves back to the same place three times? Well, the Rainwaters do.
I am still in awe of how everything had to come together for this opportunity. God's plan for our life has taken a journey, but looking back it is clear why everything happened and each leg of that journey had a purpose.
What's next for the Rainwaters? I can't answer that, but I know who is in control and that's enough for me. We're looking forward to sharing this community and watching it continue to grow. Since I only write farewell and hello pieces, I think I'll leave the writing to the experts -- and another farewell letter is not in my plan!
As for me and my family, I'll just say "We're home, Thomson."