Honoring Rae Lee Thompson

When my mother, Rae Lee Thompson, walked into a room, her huge smile and warm heart filled the entire place. Living was synonymous ​to giving for my mother.

She gave of herself to the students (and families) she tutored, she gave to the unbelievable Helping Hands Volunteer organization she created in the Roseland School District, and she gave to her friends and family, always.

I remember when I told her what she had, the human form of Mad Cow’s disease (CJD), her comment was, “but it isn’t fair, Susie, I have so much left to give!” At the young age of 61, she developed this disease which in symptoms is similar to Alzheimer’s just in fast forward. That last fateful year of her life, she experienced a decaying of her mind, body, and spirit. I learned so much that year. Life is short, say what you need to say to your loved ones, and as Patti says, live in the moment.

Rae Lee Thompson
Rae Lee Thompson

I feel blessed that I had so many wonderful years with my mother. I often think about her when I somehow know what to do as a parent to my own kids. Often they say to me, “Mom, did you learn that from Grandma Rae Lee?” Boy did I…and some! Thank you, Patti, for walking for all of our loved ones!

– Susie Thompson Rolander

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