A Legacy of Restoring Families By Lisa Thompson-Dyson Keeping families together was her mother’s passion. Now it’s her mission. M y mother believed in the power of family love. My mother, Dr. Marjorie Velma Thompson, believed that the home should be the place where children’s spirits were as free to grow and thrive as their physical bodies. She believed that a secure, loving atmosphere was more conducive to a child’s successful development than a large house or bank account. “I love children,” my mother would often say. “That’s why I want their parents to have the skills to raise them well.” And that’s what my mother did. My mother saved families. My mother fought for families. She was known by many in our small city of Kankakee, Illinois, just about an hour south of Chicago, as Ms. Thompson or simply “Aunt Margie.” When counseling couples, she would always advocate for the family unit. She would recognize and acknowledge their issues, 16 The Well Magazine Fall/Winter 2013 but would make it very clear that she represented the family’s best interest. One thing was for sure, she was authentic and genuine. People knew she loved them. She could be stern, and she could come at you with strong truth. But you could feel the love. She had a way of putting things straight in such a nice way that it wasn’t until you walked away that you realized your “attitude” had just been sliced and diced with a smile. A Passion for Family In 1981 my mother started a monthly parenting support group to support students missing or dropping out of their G.E.D. program because of family issues such as child behavior problems, marital and relationship discord, homelessness and complications because of family members’ involvement in the legal system, drugs and alcohol.