Thursday, November 26, 2015

2015 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. Thankful for experts that risk their lives to help save others. Thinking of Syria, hoping 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 love that surrounds all.  
Below, Thanksgiving 2012 thoughts, as true today for me in its essence as then, just after Hurricane Sandy. Fitting for this Thanksgiving 2015, after Paris attacks and other tragic events of these times.

My first Thanksgiving Day far from home, I had been living a few weeks, since October 31, in Geneva, Switzerland, because my husband had a new job. That day in Geneva and around the world, most people went about their usual routines with no thought of something called the American Thanksgiving holiday. The day's routine seemed upside down as my husband left for work. I went back to bed. You know, the blues. Thanksgiving. Alone. 
     After a while, I reached for something to read, to lift my thoughts. Slowly, words from the psalms settled into my heart. I read them* over and over again.
When my husband walked into our apartment that evening, it was after 6 PM, Geneva time and just past noon EST - back home. Boo hoo! Our family members were probably gathering around tables for happy feasts--in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Florida! There was a good evening meal I'd prepared for that night, when he walked in. And we gathered our two selves together and ate it 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).

     This Thanksgiving Day is a time to remember people thrown into upheaval. It is a time to remember, with thanks, volunteers who serve others. It is a time to be thankful for survivors in Paris and for families of those who died in the attacks of hate. It is time to give thanks and prayers for those who guard and seek to protect cities and nations. 
     If you are alone reading this, I am thinking of you and people I know who might be alone all 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!

On Thanksgiving, 2012, I wrote: "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."

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