The telephone rings. Instead of ignoring it as usual, I check the caller ID and see it is my neighbor. I am invited for Thanksgiving again this year. That was last Saturday I believe.
Cara has invited me every year since the awful events of 2001. My family is back east. Her family is up north; her husband's family, what's left of it, is here.
We have become an odd sort of extended family. They live across the street. It is a narrow street; cars drive on the edge of the yards when they pass each other. We live in one of the many small towns sprinkled over the Texas landscape. People either become your friends or have nothing to do with you. I am thankful for all the locals who have taken me in.
It is when things are bad that we know who are friends are and what constitutes a friend. A local lady, ill with cancer, one of the most loving and giving people I know, has received many prayers and contributions for her care. Only in a small town would/could people organize a benefit for one of their own and raise thousands of dollars. Like me, this lady is not from here. I am thankful for the generosity and love of the citizens of this town. And for the example of this fine lady. Alice, I thank God that he sent you to this town.
That awful day in 2001? It wasn't September 11th. It was August 15th. Cara's mother-in-law and father-in-law, my neighbors, were killed in a horrific car-train accident. Nothing could prepare us for that day. Coming together, crying together, gave us some release from pain.
My friend Judy heard about it and came to see if I was ok. I was at work. Judy has been there for me in so many ways. She was my sponsor in joining the catholic church. She and her husband take me with them out to eat about once a week. I thank God for them every day.
Lisa brought me a stuffed bear on that awful day. It let me know she was thinking about me. I am grateful for her friendship as well.
I have a great job. Most days I enjoy what I do (teach.) I have a great boss and staff to work with as well as an interesting bunch of students. I pray for them almost every morning.
And I have a wonderful mother. She taught me to be considerate of others. She is an excellent example of a mother, a wife, a lady, a woman, a nurse. Thank you God, for her.
My brothers have enriched my life in countless ways. I've told my students that family is where you learn to get along with others. These two men have given me much to deal with and more to love. God sent just the brothers I needed (but HE must have felt I didn't need a sister.)
I am thankful for all the people, still with us and gone to God, who have passed through my life. Experience makes us who we are.
And an extra thanks to God for my dog; I'm needed, loved, and never truly alone!
Happy Thanksgiving all.