Meredith Nicole Thomas was born on September 03, 1981. She was named after Meredith Baxter Birney, a movie actress I was infatuated with. Her mother’s water broke late one night while I was watching Quincy, the medical show with Jack Klugman. I asked her if we could wait till the show was over before we went to the hospital. She did. What a jerk.
Meredith was born at Presbyterian hospital in Charlotte. She was pre-mature by about 5 weeks. Everything went well and her lungs developed and she was fine. She was the child of my dreams. A beautiful kid. We had so much fun together. I took her everywhere, played with her constantly. Everyday was an adventure. I remember when she was three I dropped her off at Bible Baptist Tabernacle School to stay in the daycare. It was before dawn. I can still see her standing in the hallway crying her eyes out as I was pulling away. I was looking through the plate glass door. It was a horrible experience for a dad. She wasn’t thrilled with it either.
Meredith was a sensitive kid. She had a tender heart. One night, after our move to Greenville, we were having our family devotions around the kerosene (Kerosun) heater in the kitchen. It was winter. I remember talking about hell that night. I didn’t realize it, but Meredith was looking at the orange-red glow of the flame and heating element in the heater while I was talking. Either that night or the next she came into my office and asked me if she could be a Christian because she didn’t want to go to hell. I put her off that night and told her we would talk about it later. The next night she came in again and asked me a similar question. I don’t remember if we talked that night or if I put her off again, but she was persistent and was not going to let it go. I was hoping this would be the case. I told her how to become a Christian and she prayed to asked Christ to save her. She was five years old. Shortly after that she was baptized. It was a thrill of a lifetime. I truly loved that girl. We were buddies.
The day they left was w/o doubt the worst day of my life. I cannot even imagine how difficult it was for them. What went through their head, I have no idea. I still can get angry at times in my soul when I think about this time in my life and how that devastated our family. It was a dark time, the clouds of which are still not too far off.