I am sure that there are many folks who will find it difficult to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, just as there are every year. The death of a loved one, a divorce, the loss of a job, illness, foreclosure of ones home, etc. are all things that make "the glass more than half empty." Who in their right mind could think about a great Thanksgiving feast while sitting bedside with a child in pain? Parades, shopping, football on TV, and food enough to feed twice the number present, seem to pale in comparison to many of life's struggles.
Most of us don't even think about how our Thanksgiving would be if Mom wasn't there; we act as though she will continue to spend hours every year preparing the meal we await with great anticipation. But one day, hopefully many years from now, she will be gone. Family traditions of travel, bringing the dish that everyone brags about year after year, and hours of family joy will be gone. The anchor of the family is no longer there to hold the family together. Unfriendly siblings putting their differences aside for Mom's sake, will have an excuse to "do their own thing." We have seen how the loss of one or two of the family's senior ladies can effect a yearly family reunion. The reunions stop and before long, the various branches of the family tree lose touch with each other.
In our family, the person around whom every holiday revolves is my mother-in-law, Dorothy. She is nearing ninety and she is the sweetest person in the world! I do not remember ever hearing her say anything bad about one of her vast progeny. She has opened her home, her purse, and her heart to any family member regardless of their history or their character. It is almost as if she loves the lovely and the unlovely the same. She chooses to forget past indiscretions, and just love all who call her "Grandma Dot Dot." My grandparents and parents have been gone for many years, and I miss them. But my mother-in-law, Dorothy, has more than filled in as a wonderful example of Christ likeness, and a true source of joy to all of us. I praise God for her!
So this Thanksgiving, in spite of all the drama that goes on all year long, our family, no, her family will gather around her dining room table, and celebrate all that the good Lord has provided. I have written four previous posts about my thoughts on Thanksgiving, but now that the day has arrived, I want to pay tribute to the person we so often take for granted. And, I also want to thank God specifically for giving us such a special person. He has used her to heal division. He has used her as a role model. He has used her to reveal a glimpse of His own character, and for that we should all be very thankful! Praise the Lord!