To the editor:
To the community of St. James Parish
and the community of International Falls, Minn.; U.S. Customs
inspectors and shipping agents; the employees of St. James Parish
Hospital, medical staff and board; Lutcher High School faculty and
students; the High School City League swimming community.
"When we persevere and act from our convictions and from our
integrity, we change the world in a way that we may never fully
For those of you who knew my husband Tom Murray, you will
understand how fitting this quote is in describing him. For those of
you who didn't know Tom and read his letters to the editor, you
should understand more of his convictions and his integrity.
My husband was from International Falls, Minn., a Yankee who
moved south and fell in love with a Cajun. He gave so much to this
community with his dedication to the children who swam for the
Gramercy Swim Team and for the Lutcher High School Swim Team. He so
yearned to feel accepted as a Yankee in this small southern
community, and struggled with the perception that he would never be
accepted. I know he knows now how much he was loved and accepted as
he sees this community from heaven's gates.
Although he yearned for his northland and Rainy Lake, he made
this his home and was adamant that this would always be home for our
children. I am so grateful and proud to be a part of the St. James
Parish community. My family and I cannot thank you enough for the
outpouring of love, support and prayers. It will take me months to
personally respond to all of you guys. I wanted all of the people in
this community to know how much we appreciate you. Tom's family was
here for the funeral, his mom dad, five brothers and two sisters.
They shared with me that never in their lives have they felt such an
outpouring of love from a community.
To the community of International Falls, Minn., on behalf of the
Murray family, thank you so much for your prayers, support and
outpouring of love. To all of Tom's classmates that I got to enjoy
spending time with at his class reunions, thanks so much for your
support and prayers, weren't we blessed to have him as a friend? Tom
was blessed to have been part of two wonderful communities and I am
so grateful that he became a part of my life. International Falls
and Rainy Lake will always be my most special place because it was
so special and beautiful to Tom. Our love for each other was renewed
with every visit to his home!
To the U.S. Customs family and all of the shipping agents who
worked with Tom, my family cannot thank you enough for the
outpouring of support. We feel the brotherhood of U.S. Customs and I
am sure that he is very proud to have been part of that brotherhood.
To all of the shipping agents, who worked with and became friends
with Tom, I know that you will sorely miss him, thanks for being his
friend, he enjoyed working with you guys.
To St. James Parish Hospital, medical staff, and board members,
my dear, dear friends and co-workers. I could not have done this
without you guys. You were my strength when I thought that I could
not possibly go on. I am so proud to be part of such a wonderful
workplace. I love all of you and St. James Parish is blessed to have
such a great medical community!
To Lutcher High School faculty and students thanks so much for
supporting the LHS Swim Team and Tyler at this very difficult time.
To the High School City League swimming community, all of the
coaches and swimmers, who were praying for the LHS Swim Team and me.
Thanks so much for lifting us in prayer at the City Championship and
the State Swim Meet. To the meet director and officials at the state
meet, thank you so much for your kindness and support for my team
and me, you helped me to make it through a difficult time.
"Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of
men, but from doing something worthwhile." Wilfred T. Grenfell
Tom lived a worthwhile life!
God bless and thanks to
all of you.
Joan Zeringue Murray and family