Tomorrow, It Never Was You, part two of William E. Thomas’s Cypress Branches trilogy, will be officially released as an ebook. It is a day I have been looking forward to for a long time, and the weeks and months that follow will be exciting. But in one way, it will be a sad occasion.
|Sheila and William on holiday in Somerset. April 2006|
Without a doubt, William’s wife Sheila, my nan, has been the single most important figure in the creation of this trilogy. Not only did she spur on and support William during the years it took him to write the book, she also provided me with unconditional support and encouragement from the moment I first mooted the idea of self-publishing it in 2008.
She was there when William finished the book. She was there when I handed him his copy of the hardback. She was there when Pegasus Falling, the first paperback was revealed and she was there when the first reviews started coming in. She insisted that I hurry up and finish the trilogy so that she could see them all together, and the project completed.
Sadly, her wish wasn’t to come true. In April last year, Sheila suffered a devastating stroke. After a year long battle to recover, she passed away on 7th March.
The last few months have been a difficult time for the Thomas family. We lost our matriarch, a woman who never failed to express her love, and knew how to do so in so many different ways. She was a formidable woman, an inspiration to many, and never failed to make an impression on everyone who met her. Her circle of friends continued to grow even in her last days.
She was married to William for 65 years. A marriage that long is bound to have both its highs and lows, and there were plenty of both for the two of them, but their love for one another was constant, and truly inspiring. They raised a family of six children who went on to provide them with countless grandchildren and great grandchildren who have developed into a close-knit, supporting and loving family.
Sheila was buried in a Humanist ceremony that was attended by her large family and extended group of friends and ex-colleagues last month. She has been laid to rest in a meadow at a green burial ground. It is a beautiful spot with a wide view of the Buckinghamshire countryside that she would have loved.
She leaves a huge hole in our lives and will be sorely missed by all who knew her, but she would hate for us to put our lives on hold to grieve, and so plans for the publication of William’s second book have carried on and the launch is going ahead as planned.
It Never Was You is dedicated to Sheila’s memory.
29th November 1928 – 7th March 2013