KXAN (AUSTIN) — There’s no better place for Taylor Thompson to talk about his mom, Maureen, than inside the chapel at St. Andrews Episcopal School.
“She was tall, she was beautiful, she had a beautiful smile,” said Thompson. “Beyond the physical appearance I think of her grace, I think of her love.”
The seats surrounded by stained glass were packed with family and friends on the day of her funeral in October of last year. It marked the end of an 11-year battle with breast cancer. “You could not tell she was dealing with breast cancer. We never focused on it,” said Thompson. “We kept pushing forward and we kept doing things, and I figured after her passing I needed to do something I couldn’t sit around.”
Taylor knew he wanted to follow in his mother’s footsteps.
She was an architect, and while attending the University of Texas, Maureen helped design and build several Habitat for Humanity homes off of Montopolis Drive.
Her own parents have also done 70-plus Habitat builds.
Now Taylor is carrying on the tradition. He is raising $85,000 to build a home for a deserving family. He recently learned the land is one block from the homes his mom built. “They told me and I had no idea. I was just astonished,” said Thompson.
Taylor says he’s never wanted his mom’s memory to be about the disease that took her life, but rather what he can accomplish with her still cheering him on.
“I could see myself finishing the house just like when ran the half marathon in New Orleans in memory and in honor of my mom. There was that moment on the course when you’re like, I can do this thing.”
Taylor has set up an Austin Habitat fundraising page for his project.