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Thanksgiving is more than a dream

Submitted by on October 12, 2008 – 8:12 pmNo Comment
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Tomorrow is the first of two Thanksgiving “holidays” that I celebrate (the other being American Thanksgiving), but as I hope you’ve been able to discern from my posts, Thanksgiving shouldn’t be just something that you just think about as you stuff yourself full of food. It also shouldn’t be the only time (or, combined with Christmas, the “only times”) you think about assisting the “have nots”. There are plenty of people down on their luck, and while I have little patience for those who are capable of working but will not because they see a job as being “beneath” them, for those who are shut ins due to age or illness, maybe you will consider going a bit out of your way to help those who are in need.

I know, I know, with the current economic downturn, we all are in need, but still. When I was first starting out on my own, really learning how to cook (and I’m not talking about throwing a dish in a microwave or glopping a can into a casserole), I used to look out for my neighbours. Elsie lived on one side. She was in her 80s, her daughter came to see her 3 or 4 times a week. Up until the last six months before I moved, she was in perfect health, had her wits about her, but couldn’t get out, and was frail to the point where she couldn’t cook for herself. The Colonel and his wife lived on the other side of me. He was in his 70s, she was in her mid 60s, and suffering from terminal cancer. Every day, he would rise, walk the dog, then return to bathe his wife, dress her, and bring her (normally in a wheel chair) out to the patio (if the weather was good) or their picture window (if the weather was not). These three people were very appreciative of the dishes I prepared. I learned that I liked spices, and they did too (well, I like pepper more than the average human being, but I digress). I’d cook 3-4 times a week (mostly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and on the weekend), and always made sure that little containers of food (enough for at least a meal for everyone) was delivered. Sometimes, they’d want to pay me for the food — and sometimes, I took the money, and spent it on buying more food with which I fed us all. Sometimes, I refused the money, knowing that they were living on a fixed income.

There was one thanksgiving that I sent enough turkey and sides over to feed Elsie, her daughter Ruth, The Colonel, his wife, and their son. I still had plenty of food to fill my plate, and have leftovers for days.

I didn’t do it because I wanted thanks or glory. I did it because I was giving thanks. These wonderful people were a part of my life — the Colonel is still alive, and still lives there, but his wife passed on about 10 years ago, and Elsie passed shortly thereafter after suffering from dementia and probably Alzheimers’ for about 2 years.

The point I’m trying to make is that to me, Thanksgiving was more than a dream, and it’s more than just a day that we celebrate. It’s a joy that should live on in our hearts, every day of the year.

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