(The following is an e-mail that I sent to family members on March 16, 2002.)

Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 23:44:08 -0600
To: Bettie O’Rear, Mark O’Rear, Wes O’Rear, David O’Rear, Clint O’Rear, Alyssa O’Rear, Tim M. Bennett, Steve Bennett, Tim W. Bennett, Bob and Bobbie Bishop, Gene Richardson Sr., Mary Richardson, Gene Richardson Jr.
From: Paul O’Rear
Subject: Vacation and stuff

Hey, everyone.

Just wanted to let everyone know that we had a wonderful time this past week on a family vacation to Tennessee. Justin was on Spring Break. We had planned to take him out of school on the previous Friday and leave that morning. Our plans were changed, however, when we learned on Tuesday that Lea Clancy had passed away. Lea was a 10-year-old little girl who had been battling cancer for about 5-1/2 years. She and her family had become good friends of ours. Please keep the Clancy family in your prayers: Steve and Cyndi (Lea’s parents), and Lindsey and Lauren (Lea’s older sisters). They are a sweet family, and Lea was a precious little girl.

We left Waxahachie Saturday evening, after attending Lea’s funeral, and drove to Memphis and spent the night. After church Sunday morning, we drove to Thompsons Station, Tennessee (just south of Nashville), and stayed a couple of nights with Don and Debbie Dabbs, friends of ours from several years ago when they lived in Rockwall. We had a great visit with Don and Debbie. While in the Nashville area, we also had two other very wonderful visits. It turns out that one of Ashley’s favorite nurses from her first battle with cancer now lives in Franklin, Tennessee, about 7 or 8 miles from Don and Debbie’s house! We met “Nurse Karen” for supper one evening and had a wonderful time “catching up”. Then on Tuesday, we had lunch with Karen Taylor-Good, the singer-songwriter who wrote and sang the song “Precious Child” that was played at Ashley’s funeral. She is really a neat lady, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit with her. That was quite a productive visit as well — she is checking her schedule to see if she can be here on June 7 for our Relay for Life, and she is going to help me put music to a song I wrote in Ashley’s memory.

Speaking of the song I wrote in Ashley’s memory … several weeks ago some thoughts started tumbling around in my head for a song. I never wrote any of it down, but a few of the main ideas stuck. As we were driving to Tennessee, I started thinking about it again, and Susan transcribed the words as they came to me (I was busy driving at the time). After all the words were on paper, I started working on a tune in my head. To make a long story short, by the time we arrived at Don and Debbie’s house, the song was finished. It is called “Until Then”. As we were wrapping up lunch, I told Karen about the song I had written and asked her if she might be able to help me put some music to it. She said for me to send her the lyrics and a recording of what I already have, and she is going to get some of her Nashville songwriter friends to help her put some background music to it!!! Pretty cool, huh?!

After leaving Don and Debbie’s, we went out to the Smoky Mountains for a couple of days, and stayed in a really nice travel trailer that Don’s parents have permanently located at a resort campground just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It was really a neat place, and we had a great couple of days in the Smokies. Then we had to come home.

Just wanted to let you all know about our trip, and about Lea, and about the song.

“That is all.”

Love,
Paul

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