I love fall.
Dont you?
I love the scents, the sights,
the thoughts that go through our minds when we think of November.
I love the thought that in a couple weeks we will be sitting around the dining room table, family and friends gathered near, sharing a meal and reminiscing about a fantastic year…
recalling to mind all the beautiful mercies we have been given…
talking about the blessings we have seen and experienced…
feeling just a touch closer to the loved ones we shared many holidays with,
 and have now passed on.
I am so glad  to share this month with you. Thankful to hear what you have to say, and the things you think of when you think of thankfulness.
We truly are blessed, arent we?
Today I am thankful for two women who have graced the tables of our thanksgiving holidays for most of my married life. Each year, the traditions they passed on to my children seemed more and more precious, especially as I did not have that priviledge of extended family growing up.
First, is our dear Auntie Ruth, who passed on to be with the Lord on Christmas Eve, a few years ago.
What a treat she was to be with.
Always the silent one, when she spoke, everyone stopped to listen
because her wisdom and insight was so good, so right on target,
that it could end any argument around the dinner table or otherwise.
Born on Christmas Eve, she was a precious lady who loved the Lord with all her heart, soul, and mind. She lived a single life, giving many of her younger years to the care of her parents as they aged and then passed away. She spent most of her life serving, with the heart of a servant.
She adored the grandkids, and we made sure that they all treated her just like another Grandma,
because she simply was Grandma Auntie Ruth to them.
Scoliosis slowly took her from us,
 and we did our best that last year to make the most memories for her,
and for the kids.
We had a lifetime of them.
The kids only had a few short years of them.
I remember thinking, that last Thanksgiving, as she gathered the children around her wheelchair like a mother hen with a bunch of chicks, and slowly put brown sugar on the cut up yams, as was the tradition, how timeless the tradition seemed. Everyone was a year older. She was a little more frail, but still strong and hanging in there. Little did we know it was the very last holiday we would spend with her at our side. And how precious those memories are to me, and to the children who remember her, now. She passed on a godly legacy of how being a peacemaker is the most honored position a person can have in a family. It is because of her we have two beautiful children in our family that we would never have been able to adopt.
She blessed us, and our family, in so many ways.
Next is our Grandma Bea, who was everything that Auntie Ruth was not. Grandma Bea never knew a stranger. She could (and was) able to be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, on a cruise, and end up meeting someone who knew someone else, who was related to someone else, who ended up being a cousin. Or a long lost cousin of a friend.
If you were within ten feet of Grandma Bea, you became a friend.
If you rode in a elevator with Grandma Bea, you became a friend.
But more than her larger-than-life enthusiastic spirit,
was the heart of a prayer warrior.
Grandma prayed for everyone.
The woman across the hall in the nursing home.
Her family.
Her friends.
People she just met.
The daughter of a friend in an elevator that she just met.
When she passed away, her daughter and sons found boxes upon boxes, filled with slips of paper made from anything imaginable, all covered with reminders to pray for this person, or that person.
We were on there. Friends were on there. Great-grandchildren of friends who had long passed on were on there. People she had just met, families she had talked to, church bulletins…they were all in there.
It was one of the most beautiful things I can think of.
To be SO LOVED, cherished, prayed for…
To witness the love and life of two women who loved the Lord with everything they had,
 and set an example for me to follow….
Well, that is what I am thankful for today.
They impacted my life in too many ways to describe.
They could have chosen a different path, because I simply married into the family, marrying my Handy Hubby, who was their grandson/grandnephew. But there was not a single day, in 15 years that I ever wondered if they loved me any less than they did the other kids in the family.
And as I look around the table this holiday, and see those chairs,
once filled with their beloved faces, now empty, I will praise the Lord through the tears.
 My life is richer, SO much richer, because of their lives touching mine.
I pray mine will have even a fraction of the impact theirs did.
What are YOU thankful for today?
Many blessings to you and yours,