In tribute: Farwell woman put family first

Courtesy photo Christy Thatcher

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Christy Thatcher could easily send 100 text messages in a day and text a “TF” moment without even looking at the cell phone.

But she’d also use the phone to call mom when she was a few minutes late coming home, or when she’d call and ask mom or grandma to wait at the doorstep when she was driving home after watching a scary movie.

And she’d put the phone down long enough to write Valentine’s Day poetry for her mother and babysit her cousins.

Thatcher, a 2008 Farwell High School graduate, died April 23 in a car with boyfriend Drew Arnett while returning from a trip to visit his family in Alabama.

Born July 2, 1990, in Clovis, Thatcher was the type of person friends and family said you wanted to befriend because she could brighten anybody’s day.

“We were best friends in so many ways,” said her mother, Rhonda Thatcher. “I never kept secrets from her. I’m sure I didn’t know 100 percent of what she did, but there’s nothing she couldn’t talk to me about.”

Christy played flute in band and enjoyed the music of Kenney Chesney and Rascal Flatts. She helped out in the school library, and would often visit the library to pick out a mystery or romance novel. Her mother said she was currently working on the “Twilight” book series.

“She always had a smile on her face,” said school librarian Medra Isbell. “She always was cheerful. She had a lot on her plate, but she just seemed to be getting it all together.”

Whatever was on her plate, figuratively or literally, Ashleigh Mesman knew about it. The two became best friends when Christy moved from Bovina as an eighth-grader and claimed each other as sisters.

“We really didn’t fit in anywhere else, and we were alike,” said Mesman, a pre-law freshman at Texas Tech. “We’ve been best friends ever since.”

Mesman said the two spent high school creating “TF” (true friend) moments, with many focused on “ridiculous” impromptu competitions —getting the most strangers to wave at North Plains Mall, making a perfect sandwich first, or eating the fastest during 3 a.m. McDonald’s runs.

“You had to have the Mighty Kids meal, and you had to consume all of the meal,” Mesman said. “We wouldn’t time each other; we would go against each other. The loser would have to drive home … and buy next time.”

Before Christy dated Arnett, who was stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, she wouldn’t dismiss boys who asked her out at Farwell High because others did.

“She said, ‘Mom, I feel sorry because these guys are really nice,’” Rhonda Thatcher said, “‘but other girls won’t give them a chance.’”

Despite all the time she dedicated to classmates and friends such as Mesman and Kami Schmidt, Christy was always available to babysit cousins Ty, Emma and Lilly London.

Their mother, Becky London of Farwell, said the last two weeks without Christy has reiterated her value. London, a single mother who works two jobs, said Christy was always there to help and probably picked the kids up from school more than she did.

“She had lots of friends,” London said, “but she made time for us. She wasn’t too cool to hang out with me and the kids.”

And she was never above telling her mother and grandmother she loved them.

Rhonda Thatcher said one of her most prized possessions is a Valentine’s Day card Christy gave her with a poem titled, “Where Would I Be Without You” that told Rhonda, “You raised me up the best you could/and taught me all you knew about good.”

And she could always create song lyrics, which Mesman said Christy would randomly text while she was in classes in Lubbock.

“(Christy being gone) still hasn’t really set it in,” Mesman said, “but I’ve really realized how awesome she was, because my whole life revolved around her.”