Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Alone?

English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...
English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Thanksgiving 2015: Thinking for the people of Paris this American Thanksgiving Day. Thankful for experts that risk their lives to help save others. Hope for refugees to find safe havens.
     This Thanksgiving Day, there are three of us at home in Maryland. Others in Massachusetts and Tennessee, as well as North Carolina. Older brother in nursing home since earlier this month, in North Carolina. Thankful for the family care that surrounds him. Many family people far away and yet still very close. Thankful for the love we share. Thankful for life, for a heart of peace, and for love to give. 
     Here now is a Thanksgiving post from a few years ago and true today for me in its essence. *********************************************
*One Thanksgiving I was far from home, a new resident of Geneva, Switzerland, with my husband.  
     There and around the world, most people had gone about their morning or evening routine with no thought for something called the American Thanksgiving holiday. 
     And yet, Thanksgiving Day had been deeply ingrained in us since childhood days. 
     On that Thanksgiving morning in Geneva, my husband left for work. He returned to our apartment just after 6 PM, Geneva time; it was just past noon-time back home in the United States. Boo hoo! Our family members were probably starting to gather around a table for a happy feast! Each one of them, whether in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, or Florida.
     That first Thanksgiving morning far from home, after my husband left for work at his new job, I went back to bed. You know, the blues. Thanksgiving. Then I turned to a book that lifted my mindset...the Psalms, and especially these verses, which I read repeatedly. Slowly, their truth settled within me and by evening an abbreviated feast was ready for us to share, with thanks:    

O God my Strength! I will sing your praises, for you are my place of safety (Psalm 59);

For wherever I am, though far away at the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help...for  you are my refuge, a high tower (Psalm 61).

*Summary of of "Giving Thanks," in Not All Roads Lead Home by Jane Bullard (pen name of Jean Purcell).
There remains much work to do after the sweeping devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Volunteers and government workers continue to help. Still there are needs, and this holiday, through Facebook and Internet links, people hit hard by Sandy are being invited to others' homes to share Thanksgiving Day.  
     This Thanksgiving Day is a time to remember people thrown into upheaval, along with their homes. It is a time to remember, with thanks, those who serve, including volunteers who may not be home this Thanksgiving, and also the New York City mayor, New York state senators and NYC's representatives. 
     If you are alone and are reading this, I am thinking of you and people I know who might be alone this day or far from home. I hope the Psalms will help you and them, too. Here's to a blessed Thanksgiving to you, for your life and hopes.

     A Happy and hopeful Thanksgiving to all!

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