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Thanksgiving. Time to give thanks to the Lord for the loved ones in my life. Time to catch our breath after a turbulent autumn for our family.

Ralph has suffered a series of health crises, been to the emergency room three times, admitted to the hospital twice from the emergency room. His weight has ranged from 136 to 172, due in part to what we now know is heart disease and pulmonary hypertension. Many questions remain, but for now he is recovering from major surgery for a small bowel resection and colon resection as the result of a tumor, and a stay in the hospital for pneumonia three weeks later. But he is home now, gaining strength before the next series of doctor appointments and tests. Thank you Lord.

I’ve had to do many things that used to be “his jobs.” Shoveling snow. Changing light bulbs and clocks. Cooking the Turkey for Thanksgiving. Cooking all of the suppers (he cooked about half of them). I was successful with some of his jobs.

But I was unable to start the snow blower. We’ve had already 30 inches of snow in November, and the local weatherman predicted another foot of snow. I hated winter at that point. Probably the first thing that made me cry besides Ralph’s emergency hospital stays. A man from our church came and used his snow blower on our driveway and sidewalk. A blessing. (The additional foot of snow never materialized, but there was already over a foot of snow on Ralph’s car at that point.)

The turkey was a bust  at the first attempt. Under Ralph’s instruction, I stuffed the turkey, slathered it with butter, and put it in the oven. I turned the oven to 335. But instead of turning on the timer, I pressed “Time Start” for four hours. By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late. With the advice of the Butterball turkey hotline, I threw it away. Instead of turkey we had beef and noodles with onions and mushrooms. That evening, I went to the grocery store with Will and Patty…and fresh turkeys were on sale for 75% off. The next effort was successful. We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday. Still thankful. Still smiling. Still delicious, even though I made the turkey.

Will came home for Thanksgiving and bought us a Christmas tree. Our old giant tree had seen better days. Last Christmas, we used duct tape to hold it together. He knows how important Christmas is to Ralph. Ralph is the one who puts the tree up, coaxes the rest of us to help. Sets up his villages around the dining room. Not sure if the village will get set up this year. But Will set up the tree, gave Ralph some of the branches to unfold, wrapped the lights around the new tree, and he and I put the ornaments on the tree. He placed it where Ralph could see it from the couch he is occupying for the time being. Will loves Christmas, too. Just like his Dad.

Thanksgiving blessings to you all.

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“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in every circumstance, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18, the Bible

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