A Thankful Thanksgiving!

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;  give thanks to Him and praise His name.”  Psalm 100:4

This Thanksgiving truly was one of the best I can remember with my family.  My 97 years young Na Na invited everyone to her home for the holiday.  All of her children and all but one of her grandchildren were there. Most of her great grandchildren were there also. It was a joyous celebration. My grandmother has celebrated 69 years of Thanksgivings in her home. We are so blessed that she is able to still live by herself, thanks to her wonderful helper, Yvonne who comes daily to cook, clean and take care of Na Na, although Na Na does a great job of taking care of herself.  Yvonne’s mother worked for my grandparents and stayed with Na Na until she died and  Yvonne has worked ever since.  She is like a member of our family.

At the table, on Thanksgiving day,  we all took turns sharing what we are thankful for this year.  Of course, everyone was thankful for my amazing grandmother, who wanted us all to be at her home.  I was so thankful for her and her health; earlier this year we weren’t so sure how much longer she would be with us.  But she rallied and acts as if she were 80 instead of three years shy of a century.  I am also so thankful for my precious darling twin nephews who ate their first turkey this year and totally enjoyed it.  One of my cousin’s youngest who is only three said he was thankful that he loves everybody.  Doesn’t that just warm your heart?  If we all could be so simplistic and truly love everybody and be thankful for it too.  It was so sweet to hear all of my family members speak  from the heart about what they are most thankful for this year.  The theme of everyone’s thanksgiving thankfulness was family and the blessings God has showered on us. It was a precious time of sharing, and for my aunt who lost her husband of over fifty years this summer, she was thankful for all the support she received from her family during his illness. She was so upbeat and truly thankful for the years she had with him and knowing that he is with Jesus gave her great comfort on her first major holiday without him.  Each person truly spoke from their heart, and it was so sweet to hear all of my cousins and my brother mention how thankful they were for their wives and children.

Growing up in a small town in south Georgia does have its perks, and as much as I have belittled my small town,  this week-end I saw so many of the benefits.  Wednesday night, three of my high school friends and fellow cheerleaders came over, and we stayed up late looking at old pictures and reminiscing about old happy times.  And the truth is, they really were.  We had such a sheltered and wonderful time.  We laughed and laughed about the things we did and the fun times we had cheering and winning the state championship.

Mom and I went shopping on Friday, and my mother knew everyone we saw including the clerks and customers in all the stores.   She even knew the girl at the coffee drive through; she had taught her in school.  We went into the floral shop and one of the employees had heard the twins were in town and was mad at mom for not bringing them to see her.  Mom explained they were here for all of three hours.  She told her she would find out where she lived and the next time they were in Waycross, she would bring them over.  The funny thing is , Mom will do it. That is a small town for you.

Another thing that I was so thankful for this week-end is the safety and security of being at my grandmother’s house.  It is the only constant in my life that has not changed one bit since I was born.  The furniture is even the same.  I love the smell and sight of everything in it.  When I called Na Na on the way down to tell her what time I would be there, she told me she would be waiting with open arms. That embodies my Na Na.  Her home and her heart are always waiting for all of us with open arms.  Last night she and I stayed up and watched the movie Elf and laughed so hard.  We had so much fun and were still talking about it this morning.  At times, I forget how old my grandmother is because she doesn’t act like it at all.  Today, we were talking about her cousin who at 99 just died.  She asked me what I thought about cremation and then said “I don’t think about it, I only think about life.”  Well, that says it all, that is the secret to her being her age and in the great shape she is in. She only thinks about life.  I love my Na Na so very much and when I tell her that, she always says “I love you more.”  If only we all could be like Na Na.  I tell her when I grow up I want to be just like her and when I am 97 I hope and pray my family will want to come and spend Thanksgiving with me.

Yes, it was a very thankful Thanksgiving. God has blessed me with a wonderful family and an incredible spiritual legacy in my Na Na.  I do give Him thanks and praise His name for His faithfulness and goodness to my family.