Love at the board, 2016
Dear readers, this post from Thanksgiving last year still says it better than I could say it today. It’s a sort of visit from the Posts of Thanksgiving Past, to borrow a phrase from Dickens. At the time I wrote this, I honestly never expected that it would be our last Thanksgiving with Jeff. Despite the deep sorrow of missing him, I cannot look at this photo of three people I love dearly without feeling a heart full of gratitude and joy. For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving Day today, may your holiday be blessed with awareness of riches no money could buy. I am very, very grateful for all of you, and for your presence here!
P.S. — Ann, Pasha stars in that third link!
For hearts that are kindly, with virtue and peace,
and not seeking blindly a hoard to increase;
for those who are grieving o’er life’s sordid plan;
for souls still believing in heaven and man;
for homes that are lowly with love at the board;
for things that are holy, I thank thee, O Lord!
For many of us, this Thanksgiving will be a bittersweet time as we observe the holiday without loved ones. This year, our family feels the absence of our Daddy who worked so hard for 87 years to ensure that we would celebrate this and all days with bounty, gratitude and reverence. We honor him today with the thankfulness he instilled in each one of us, bolstered by faith and renewed by deep joy in all that is beautiful and right in our world.
One year ago (2014), our family had experienced another sudden loss shortly before Thanksgiving. Even so, we were able to come together as a family and reflect upon those blessings that remained, and encourage one another with hope for the future.
The year before that (2013), we had a most unconventional Thanksgiving day, exhausted yet filled with thankfulness and hope.
The year before that (2012), we were reeling in the shock of Jeff’s stage IV cancer diagnosis, having received bad news followed by worse news followed by even worse news. Yet even that year, there were reasons to be thankful. Among them were the readers of the newly-begun Defeat Despair.
I didn’t know then that a blog I started as a personal effort to stay focused on blessings amid the trials was to introduce me to wonderful people all over the world. Though I could not know it in those early days, I would find myself three years hence with dear friends whose existence was then unknown to me, and my dear husband, my rock and surest support, would still be with us, still working full time, still defying the odds.
Thus we face another Thanksgiving Day with full hearts and a deep sense of gratitude for mercies that truly are new every morning. May each and every one who reads these words experience love, joy, peace and many reasons to be glad. Happy Thanksgiving!