Thursday, November 26, 2009


Thanksgiving morning - and no smell of turkey wafts through our house. The house is quiet and still-
I want to take a moment to process this...
It makes me stop and think of all the families I have seen in the last few months who are facing the holidays without those that they love. It makes me wonder about empty chairs and empty faces- it makes me stop and say a prayer for those who have lost the ones they love, or are facing Thanksgiving- knowing that it will be their very last one together.
I had alot of those conversations this week- people bravely assembling their families, trying to carry on traditions, wondering what the best thing to do is- how to celebrate life and thankfulness in the midst of death and tragedy....

I spoke with a lovely woman yesterday who had lost her beloved mate last week. "I keep trying to be thankful for all the years we had together, and what a wonderful husband he was" and then her voice broke and the line was silent for a long moment.

I know that these people will go on.... and it is my prayer that the experience they had in hospice will have allowed them to say what they needed to say- have had the time they needed to say good bye without regrets. I hope that their experience will help in their healing- that they will find their way to gratitude and thankfulness a bit sooner than they might have without the hospice experience.

I know that they will find their way- brave folks every one of them. I know that they will honor the life that they lost, that they will remember and that on Thanksgivings in the years to come they will celebrate.

I know that we -in this family- have much to be thankful for this year. After a year filled with chemo and angst, we are still strong. We will gather today at my brother's home- where the smell of turkey will fill the rooms.... We will return here together, stuffed ourselves- and I hope that we will remember to be grateful- to celebrate.

It is my hope that each of you has much to be thankful for this year. That there are memories to sustain you and goals to look forward to in the coming year. That whatever your circumstances, on this day, you will find your way to thanksgiving. Gratitude, it is said, changes everything..

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