Who Gets the Thanks?

I’ve been turning on the stove in the family room and the living room each morning for the past week. The old saying: “the north winds do blow, and we shall have snow, and what will poor robin do?” has been truthful. We have had a few days of wind, the birds have been numerous and VERY busy–no doubt preparing for winter. In the evening just before sunset, I bring in our huge fern plant and the wonderful flowering gardenia, so as not to lose them in a frost.

I am thinking about baking, which often happens this time of year. Yes, we shall be getting ready for Thanksgiving soon, and I have already tried a new Pumpkin recipe–Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. Ron loved them! I am considering making Grandma Rockey’s Sticky Buns, as we all called them (really Pecan Rolls), and perhaps her Cinnamon Rolls as well. They store nicely in the freezer until the Thanksgiving guests arrive and they are served on Thanksgiving morning along with breakfast. I usually give a few away as well, so no doubt will this year.

But there are several things for me to be especially thankful for during the month of November. It was in November of 1963, that I graduated from nurse’s training, and then spent the next 20 years enjoying that profession.

On a cold, blustery day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 30, 1964, I met the love of my life. So he is #1 on my “I am thankful for . . .” list.

# 2 on my list is the couple who took me to meet #1 – Pastor Joseph S. Damazo, a very close family friend since I was 5 years old. Believe it or not, I talked with him just the other day. He is 97 and still driving, preaching, and performing weddings and funerals. He performed our wedding on August 15, 1965, 52+ years ago. What a wonderful man and precious friend and supporter. Unfortunately, his sweet wife, Hazel, passed away a number of years ago.

#3 on my list is Renata, Ron’s mother, who I met very briefly later that day. She was the BEST mother-in-law a girl could ever have. She would come and visit (sometimes for 3-6 months) and would bake the BEST goodies ever. She adored our children and loved packing their lunches for school. She became a close friend.

#4 on my list is Phyllis, Ron’s sister, who I also met on that special day. She took care of him when he was a very young baby and really “mothered him” until she got married when Ron was seven. She married Johnny, who became a “father figure” to Ron until his death just a few years ago. One always says that a boy marries someone similar to his mother, and for sure that’s what Ron did! We are much alike, Phyllis and I, and very good friends!

That’s it for the November “I am thankful for” list, but there are so many more things to be grateful for!

God gave Ron and me two “miracle girls!” My ability to conceive and bear a child was doubtful at best, but God gave us first, Sara Louise in 1968, and then Naomi Lynn in 1969. Only 14 months apart, they surely kept me busy, but I was so thrilled to have been given these two miracles! These days, Sara is a wife, mother, and grandmother, as well as a nurse. She and her hubby, Wade, live just down the street from our home. Naomi Lynn and her “Darlin’”, Bob, live in Illinois near son, Joshua and his wife and baby boy. Sure wish we were closer, but immediate family is so important, so Naomi gets to enjoy her son’s family nearly every day.

Also on my list would be the rest of Ron’s clan. Since I was raised as an only child, I always longed for a brother or sister, so God granted me that when I married Ron. At the time of our wedding, he had an older brother, George and a younger Brother, Bobby. He had two older sisters, Peachy and Phyllis, and a younger sister, Judy. Unfortunately Peachy, George, and Bobby have all passed away. We do keep in close touch with Phyllis and Judy–special sisters! Naomi lives within an hour’s drive from them both.

God gave us precious friends too, who become increasingly more special as the years go by. Priscilla was my roommate in nurse’s training, and she and hubby Don were both in our wedding 52 years ago. We met Kenny and Donna in 1976 in New England, and they have become increasingly more precious through the years! We have a tradition of Thanksgiving together, and this year will be no exception–God willing. Donna and I love to bake pies together the day before the holiday. Deb and Doug have been special friends since 1992, when we met in Bismarck, ND. They are fun to be with and she and I along with the “boys” used to love to go “estate sale shopping” on our golf carts. Alex and Kathleen, who live nine hours away by car, have become such enjoyable friends as well. We share books, recipes and fun phone calls.

YES, there are tons of other friends, too–the article would take up pages if I listed them all. Just know that we have precious memories with so many of you. Some day in the kingdom, we shall have a GREAT THANKSGIVING DAY, when we shall dine along the crystal sea, praising God in song and other ways for all He has brought us through.

Now the tears are streaming–memories and loneliness for those who live a distance–so I shall close this epistle, with but one more thing we are grateful for. Through the years, the Lord has given us an immense privilege–to travel the world, to write books and workbooks, to consult with the hurting and to see so many brought out of darkness into light and happiness. Thank you, Lord! All the blessings already listed are from you and we know that for sure, and so as we sit around the table on Thanksgiving Day, we shall thank you for them all!

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