Saying goodbye too soon

Published 4:34 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Family and friends gathered Feb. 6 at Concord Baptist Church to celebrate the life of Mac Thompson, former Calera High School coach.

Thompson died Feb. 3 after suffering a massive heart attack. He coached the Calera Eagles three seasons before moving to Adel, Ga., to coach the Hornets at Cook High for one season.

Prior to the service, a slide show displayed pictures of Thompson and his family. Friends wiped the heartache from their eyes as picture after picture reflected the happy times they shared.

A big smile as he hugged wife Regina (Nichols) portrayed a happily married man. Fishing and swimming with sons Kolby, Ethan, Mackenan and Isaak was a cherished pastime. His passion for football on and off the field was obvious.

Unspoken questions filled the worship center. Why Mac? Why God? Parents and students offered comfort to Thompson’s family with hugs and caring smiles.

Pastor Daryle Nichols said loss does not mean Thompson is lost. Somber– faced Calera Eagle teammates, dressed in team jerseys, listened as Pastor Nichols encouraged them.

“Mac is not lost. We know where he is” he said.

Thompson, a man of faith, is now in the presence of God. If you share his faith, you will see him again, Pastor Nichols promised.

He pointed out Feb. 3 was National Signing Day for college football. Emotion caught in his throat as he said, “God signed Mac for his team that day.”

Teddy Keller called Thompson “my brother” and described him as godly, passionate, loving husband, devoted father, responsible and caring. He said he was a man who took winning and losing personally.

Reggie Nichols did not know why God took Thompson so suddenly, but one thing he knew for sure: “God is glorified through Mac’s death.” The testimony of Thompson’s godly lifestyle reflects a man after God’s own heart.

Thompson’s Facebook fan page draws the picture of the man whose fingerprints remain. “After the Cordova game, you had all the players in the end zone. You told them, ‘I know it hurt, it will hurt in the morning, but it will get better.’ Coach T. I will never forget those words.”

Another posting reads, “It is a rare thing and a rare man to make such an impact on so many in such a short time.”

A man who loved God, family, friends and football: This is how Mac Thompson is remembered.