Diann Thomas Memorial

The Morning Tea became celebrated as a daily newsletter filled with encouragement, uplifting stories and daily devotions written by people who are living out their purpose!  

The late Diann Thomas brought this elegant source of daily refueling to the Internet in the 90’s. She was an excellent leader that saw the power of sharing and ministering to the masses via email.

In  2010, Diann Thomas passed away unexpectedly and sadly, co-contributor Linda Cunningham-Hames passed away on July 24, 2012. After she passed away several different women carried on her legacy of encouraging others to live their best life each and every day.  

I’m now joining Sister Rugina Poellnitz and many other Texas readers in carrying the torch forward and I hope you will join me on this path to wholeness.

The Morning Tea is a community that globally connects the dreamers, the doers and the teachers; who aim to make the world a better place for us all. Our readers are encouraged to identify and bring forth the strength within them, to be inspired by others, and to let their talents and purpose shine through.  Join the community now by sharing the newsletters, following us on social media and by contributing your advice, comments and wisdom to each post.

Eulogy for Diann Thomas

A remembrance of a beloved friend and teacher

Two thousand years ago a voice spoke of the power of love and devotion.  Twenty years ago that voice spoke to me -- it spoke to me through the love and devotion of this woman we are here to celebrate -- Diann Thomas.

We are all of us here together today because we share a blessing -- the blessing of having known the power of love and devotion in the person of Diann Thomas.  The blessing we have shared is the experience of a person who strove every moment of her life to be a vessel to transmit the simple power of what that voice spoke of so long ago. 

I learned so much of value from Diann.  As we remember Diann today I want to stress one lesson I learned from her -- which was about how the essence of devotion to the power of love is STRIVING.  Diann taught me -- through the daily example of her life -- that the key to the wisdom and power of Jesus' words is the commitment to STRIVING for the good.

Diann understood that there is a great gap between the perfection of love on the one hand, and the imperfect world we live in, on the other.  Diann knew in the depths of her soul that the only way to bridge that gap is to commit to striving for the good.  She knew that she and all the people around her were deeply flawed, and that it is given to us to make a simple choice -- will we see that imperfection and despair, or will we take a deep breath every day and STRIVE for the good.

Diann taught me about this -- the commitment to striving for the good -- the only way such a hard lesson can be taught: By setting an example little by little, every day, for her whole life.  Her job of teaching me was made easy because I am such an idiot.  I constantly provided her with opportunities to teach me  the value of striving for the good.

Over and over again I have made a mess of my life.  Over the years, sometimes it seemed to me that my role in life was to serve as an example to others of what not to do.  A few years ago, I had reached what I thought was a complete dead end in my life.  It seemed to me that every decision I had made was wrong.

Diann knew this -- she knew everything about me.  Over a period of months, the consequences of bad decisions I had made were falling in on me.  I felt trapped.  I was at the end of my rope.  Day by day, Diann came into my office, sat and patiently listened to me narrate my despair.  Finally a day came when I had given up.  I saw no way out of my troubles.  Diann gently pointed out that things would get better if I stayed the course.

I said to her: "Diann, all you have to offer me is HOPE."  Her eyes went wide and she said "yeah!"

And then we both started laughing.  And laughing.  And laughing.  We both laughed until we cried.  Every time we would begin to stop laughing, our eyes would meet, and then the laughter would start again, as we both saw the absurdity of what I had said.

That moment established a floor on my despair.  From then on, no matter how bad things got, no matter how stupid I was, all it took for Diann to bring a smile to my face was to quote me: "Diann, all you have to offer me is HOPE!"  And we would laugh again.

Love and devotion.  This woman was devoted to me so much that she was willing to travel down with me into the dark depths of my despair -- to carry a tiny flickering light of hope to me.

From Diann, in this, I learned that in this imperfect world, the only hope is to commit to striving for the good.  To devote ourselves to the power of love every day -- even when it may seem crazy to have hope.  So crazy it makes you laugh. Until you cry.

I saw Diann's striving to devote herself to the power of love in so many ways and how it touched the lives of others, over and over and over.

If I came back from lunch to find the door to my office closed, it meant that Diann was using my office for her ministry of love.  I would wait and eventually I would see the door open and Diann would come out with someone else from the law firm who she had been listening to -- someone that she had also accompanied down into the dark depths of despair.  Someone else to whom she had gently offered the flickering light of hope.

I would see her transfer a call she received at her desk to the phone in an empty office, and she would go in there and close the door and I knew she was offering that light of hope to one of the hundreds of people who knew her through her email ministry.

And I saw the power of love in Diann's ability to forgive me my many sins against her.  I would be impatient with her work, or stupidly blame her for something that more often than not turned out to be my own fault.  She wasn't perfect -- she would get angry with me sometimes when I would be unjust like that.  But she ALWAYS forgave me, and not in a way meant to shame me, but in a way that made it possible for me to see the power of love so that I could, in my own imperfect and deeply flawed way, try myself to pass on the power of love to others.

I also saw many small signs of the power of Diann's striving for the good.  I have been blessed to have clients for my law practice from all over the world.  Very often the number two voice and face of my work was Diann's.  I perceived how our clients -- who grew up in other countries and other cultures -- responded immediately and positively to the projection through Diann of the power of striving for the good.

Unfortunately, Diann and I were in the trouble business together.  People only come to us when they have bad legal problems.  These problems threaten their careers, and because of that, the problems they have threaten their whole lives -- their livelihoods, their families, what they've spent their whole lives trying to achieve.

But invariably, Diann's presence in our work brightened the dark days we had to share with our clients.  Invariably, our clients would smile when they talked to Diann.  Invariably, years after we finished a case for someone in a far-off land, when I visit them, they ask about Diann and tell stories of how she brightened their lives with her cheer and attention to their comfort.

* * * * * *

I could go on and on...

But let me leave you with this thought.  By knowing Diann Thomas, we have been blessed to witness what I believe to be Jesus' greatest miracle.  Not little magic tricks that impress foolish people like us.  And not great mysteries beyond human understanding.  For me, Jesus' greatest miracle was the transformation of the human heart through the power of love and devotion.  And we here have all been blessed to see this miracle unfold in a single human life.  

By patiently and gently teaching us through the example of her own striving for the good in her daily life -- her peaceful striving every day against the imperfection of human life and the imperfection of this world -- Diann Thomas became a vessel of love and devotion, and she gave voice to those words spoken 2000 years ago.

Greg Burch, written October 9, 2010