From Tearful to Cheerful: Thoughts of Thanksgiving

To be honest, I started out this Thanksgiving weekend feeling surpremely sorry for myself.  It would just be us for dinner – my family is far away, his family is unavailable, and for one reason or another no opportunities presented themselves to invite anyone over. (I know that sounds lame, but true nonetheless.) So I got a little turkey, made the pistachio fruit salad, and decided to make the best of it. But inside, I was grumbling all the way.

Poor me. All alone with my family, with all of us healthy and plenty of food in the cupboard. No, we couldn’t travel this year (like we do most years) but all in all, it could be MUCH worse.

Then I was reminded how much worse. Yesterday I discovered a dear friend had been hospitalized with leukemia. Her oldest son (whom she and her husband foster-adopted 11 years ago) has the rest of the family sleeping with one eye open as much for self-preservation as filial concern. I went to go visit her in the hospital this morning, and my friend told me about her list of all that she was thankful for, as a result of this sickness.

Of all the people who had reached out to let her know how much she means to them.

Of the answers to prayer that she had already experienced by offering her suffering back to God.

Of all the ways her doctors had been fighting on her behalf, even before she knew she was ill.

Yes, she had much to be thankful for.  And so do I.

So tonight, as I put the last vestiges of turkey carcass into the trash (after “souping” them all evening), pour the last glass from the wine bottle, and sit down to compose this last little reflection for my “Weekend Ponderings” message to you, I just have to say . . . Truly, we have much to be thankful for.

Lord, I’d like to thank you for my friend Roxy, and ask you to illuminate her path.
Give her light enough for the rough places, and courage enough for the dark ones.
Give her only enough suffering to make her holy, and only enough worry to cling to you all the more.
And finally, Lord, as I hold her up to you in prayer, help me never to tire of interceding
not according to my will, Lord, but yours.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, please pray for us.

3 thoughts on “From Tearful to Cheerful: Thoughts of Thanksgiving

  1. Dear Heidi….

    Thanksgiving always brings with it a myriad of appreciative thoughts ranging from years past to the present day and always with the dynamics of family happenings coloring this traditional feast.

    As with you, this year happened to be spent alone with my husband, who only hours before was discharged from the hospital after eleven days of “incarceration” after major abdominal surgery to remove his bladder and prostate. He is doing well, except for a minor infection, for which he will be treated at home. The challenges that arise from this type of surgery are many, but somehow the Thanksgiving “discharge” was symbolic and brought me many examples of reasons to be thankful. First and foremost, Jesus, His Blessed Mother and all of the angels and saints came thru with flying colors to not only guide the hand of the surgeons, but also by giving mountains of strength to those of us on the other side of the operating suite. How blessed we are with our beloved heavenly friends in which to confide our uncertainites and doubts.
    Our tiny turkey breast, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy was served and eaten with much “relish”, at least by me; as my husband’s stomach was still queasy!
    As our children gathered around their tables across the miles, even the one in Iraq who served her troops, uttered prayers of thanks for the monumental favor received this year. Thanksgiving, for me, has become a daily occurrence as I age. God’s loving hand in all things has become a shining beacon that will never be extinguished despite our human trait to sometimes forget His awesome love and concern for all his creation.


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