Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm thankful for...

a happy, blessed time with family last year.
Left to right: My parents, Leon and Wendy, Logan, Naomi, me, Merv and Ruth Potteiger (our pastor and wife), Julie, Brian, Betsy, Libby, Grandpa and his friend Arlene Faulhaber, Aunt Carolyn, Aaron.

Two years ago, my family ate Thanksgiving dinner with our extended family in Adrian. We hadn't planned to celebrate the holiday together, but my Grandma (Dad's Mom) had exploratory surgery the day before Thanksgiving and we all gathered to be with her. The doctors weren't sure she would make it through surgery, but she did and while the rest of us ate turkey at her house, Dad kept Grandma company at the hospital. In the evening we gathered in her hospital room and sang with her. We brought her home the next Monday, with the help of Hospice, and we cared for her for the next six months until she passed away in May.

It was so good to sit around our table with family last Thanksgiving, instead of spending the weekend in hospital waiting rooms. On our table, beside each plate, we placed five kernels of corn to remind us of the starving time the Pilgrims experienced their first November in the New World. We passed around the bowl and each person placed a kernel of corn in the bowl and shared one thing he or she is thankful for. We were especially thankful to be celebrating Thanksgiving with my Grandpa (Mom's Dad).

Thanksgiving Day was the last time Grandpa left his house, except a trip to the doctor's office. Over the next few weeks we helped my aunt care for him with the aid of Hospice. He passed away in January.

My uncle and his family graciously invited us to spend Thanksgiving with them this year, for which we were all thankful. It's been difficult to imagine celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas without grandparents. We have so many memories, both happy and sad. But God is good. From Adrian we plan to travel to Northern Indiana to visit friends for a few days.

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