Perhaps Thanksgiving is one of everyone’s favorite days and holidays of the year? It’s one of the few holidays that no matter what religion, we all want to celebrate with family and friends. It’s a holiday that most of us have fond memories of certain gatherings, certain years. I remember some from when I was only 5 or 6. Our young family lived in a small home with my beloved grandmother in Haverford. Thanksgiving eve we all gathered in the warm, tiny kitchen to cut bread into squares that lay on the limited counter space all night on cookie sheets to dry. These squares of dry bread become the stuffing with delicious seasons the next morning. I felt so important because I was allowed to help!
As a teenager there were Thanksgivings when the local rival football team was our morning focus and still something to talk about hours later while sitting around a table with overly filled plates before us. I’m still always interested in knowing when Springfield beats Marple-Newtown.
As I continue to reflect I think about the years our four kids went off to college. There was no warmer or sharing feeling than when our kids brought friends home for turkey dinner. Not everyone, of course, was able to travel the distance to be with their own families on that day. Lucky us!
But I am most grateful for the memories of last year’s thanksgiving gathering and willnever ever forget it in my heart nor in my mind. Last year our daughter-in-law, Heather, and our son, Ken, presented our family with a wonderful, tasty Thanksgiving feast at a lovely festive table. There was a private table in the living room just across the foyer from us adults for all 13 of our beautiful, healthy grandchildren. And best of all we shared some time to linger and visit after the feast. I’ll remember it always because it was to be the last one we spent with Heather, our daughter-in-law. We lost Heather suddenly at age 42 just days after that family gathering to a brain aneurism. Life is simply too precious. A friend of mine has a plaque in her home that reminds her each morning that “Every Day is a Gift!” We have a note inside our kitchen cabinet where we store our daily dishes that reminds us to “breath – relax – eat in peace.” And we’ve all said at one time or another that “we should appreciate all those around us every day” or “life is too short!”
We at A Woman’s Place (AWP) do our utmost to keep all our clients safe so that they too can realize “Every Day is a Gift!” We strive to get them to a place where they too can “breath – relax – eat in peace.” Many of these ladies have fond memories of Thanksgiving too . . . as I do . . . as we all do. And we will continue to help them so that they also can enjoy many wonderful Thanksgiving feasts on this national holiday in our great nation. Yes, “we” do an amazing job to keep them safe, and to offer them services that will empower them to move forward. Pat yourselves on the back!
AND may I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to AWP’s dedicated staff, to the AWP volunteers, and to you, our supporters. I’m thankful to know so many of you!
Jan Button, Court Advocate, First Response Advocate, and CBAC Member