It is the time of year when we all are to gather together to be thankful. I will admit in some ways I am really struggling; this has been a very hard year for my family in many aspects.
My husband’s health has been as such he is unable to work, so of course there’s the constant worry of bills. I also am concerned about his spirit because he has always been such a hard worker and to be in a position where he cannot do anything I know is very hard. The list could go on.
This year has been one of the periods in life where one step forward leads to five steps backwards so yes I have been struggling. Do not get me wrong, I have so much to be thankful for but it has been a struggle.
Making it worse is that in exactly three months, I’ll be turning 50, something I am not handling very well at all.
With that said I am very thankful I have a Savior in Jesus who loves me despite of me. I am very thankful that my husband despite his physical struggles is still by my side loving me even though I am not always loveable.
All kinds of memories flood my head when I think of Thanksgiving. I remember when I was 12, my mother and my brother both had the flu so it was just my father and I. Neither one of us had a clue what to do to prepare a Thanksgiving meal, but that year we worked together and figured it out. Although he and I were the only ones to enjoy the meal, it was still a great dinner.
After that Thanksgiving I took over cooking and have been cooking the majority of the meals since.
Five years ago I received the heartbreaking phone call that my mother who lived in Maryland was in the hospital but was going to be discharged on hospice. My mother’s health had taken a beating for several years, and her COPD was finally getting the best of her. I made the decision to take the week of Thanksgiving off. I called and told her I would be in Maryland on Monday and that if she would get healthy enough to come home I would do a big dinner on Thanksgiving. Needless to say that was all the encouragement she needed.
That Monday I had talked to my mother’s social worker and told her we were going to surprise my mother. My husband, Jeff, and my two youngest children had decided to come with me. My mother thought I was the only one coming. In fact she had told the social worker in an emotional breakdown that she guessed she would never see any of her grandchildren again. The social worker said she had the hardest time keeping the news quiet.
That evening we get to the hospital, and Jeff and the children were in the hallway while I walked into the room. I held my phone up and told her I was letting Jeff know I had made it when really I was turning on the video. She’s looking at me and the next thing you know Jeff, Hayden and Kaitlyn walked into the room. Momma’s mouth dropped wide open and by the time Hayden and Kaitlyn got to the side of the bed, she was in sobbing. If you are friends with me on Facebook, look it up under my videos. It still gets me.
That Thanksgiving I made a huge meal and my only sibling, Bobby, came over as well, and we gave Momma a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of love and laughter that day.
One week later Momma died and is now dancing on the streets of gold with Jesus. But for that one holiday all that mattered was being a family and really being thankful.
Other than Jeff’s side of the family and our children, I have no real close family members that live nearby, but over the years in Marion County I have met some very special people who are just like family and will be spending Thanksgiving with a couple of them this year.
In the holiday musical “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby sings a song about counting your blessings instead of sheep; as I am writing this I realize how much truth there is to that.
So happy Thanksgiving, eat too much, laugh, love and enjoy your time with your family. It is what we should be thankful for.
Susan Amundson is managing editor of The Columbian-Progress. She may be reached at (601) 736-2611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.