Thanksgiving 2008; the boys and I had just lost our house to foreclosure. The only home the boys had ever known, my home for the 22 years, gone and we were forced to leave. Grateful to having found someone who would finally rent to us (foreclosure, a HUGE blemish on your credit) we moved into the rental in November. We barely had money for rent and utilities, not alone a Thanksgiving dinner...and Christmas was coming. God blessed us with some amazingly wonderful people who were extremely generous and not only enabled me to give the boys a 'Christmas' but to keep the utilities on and food on the table.
This year God has turned our lives around. Not only am I able to feed my two, but four UNT international students from Taiwan (that Casey is bringing home with him for a few days) and Mark (yes, my ex). This will be the first Thanksgiving for the students from Taiwan and the first for Mark since his mother passed. When Mark told me he was going to spend it alone, I discussed inviting Mark with Casey. Casey said that inviting Mark was the Christ like thing to do. Casey is an amazing young man and always makes me proud.
One of my biggest blessings this year are the two additions to my family, Amber and Kristen. Sharon, their mother, was my best friend in Indianapolis 25 years ago before I moved to Texas. Amber was a child when I left Indianapolis and Kristen was born five years after I left, just a few months before Casey. Every year we'd visit Indianapolis and Kristen and the boys would spend time together. Sharon passed away of leukemia, her husband moved immediately afterwards, and I lost them. For years we searched and searched for them, but even with the internet, we couldn't locate them. Then, along came Facebook and Casey and I started sending out 'feelers' to everyone on Facebook with their names. Finally, we found them. Since then, I've fallen in love with them all over again, completely. And Amber, well, she's now married with a precious little girl of her own! So, not only do I have my 'girls' back, but I have a little one too!
2009 has brought me love, a foundation for financial stability that I've not known for a very long time, and renewed relationships. Yes, this Thanksgiving I am giving thanks...much, much thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
* This is a picture of the great kids Casey brought home, I love them! There's Casey, Angela, Mavis, Matthew (all from Taiwan) and Kayleen from Korea. They're making me bubble tea!