|I just got back from over a week of events in Southern California, and I wanted to personally thank everyone for making me feel so welcome. Folks showed up that haven’t seen me in ten years!
It was equally special to meet so many of you at my Cromwell Ct. event as well. It’s been a wonderful fall, getting to meet many of you for first time and reconnect with those I haven’t seen in years. I want to thank Danny and Zack from K92 bringing me back to Roanoke for another Hope for the Holidays. It was always my honor to bring laughter, hope and love to those who attended. EVeryone went out of their way to give me that southern hospitality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I – like many of you, I’m sure – can’t believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Here is another chance to give to those that simply need a place to feel loved, and to feed the soul as well as the body. After all, that really is what “thanks-giving” is: reaching out for those that want to share and spend time with loved ones, or those that don’t have loved ones or even a place to go. I remember years ago on Thanksgiving, a friend of mine put together as many meals as her car would hold, and went to all the places in the city where people were homeless, to give them one unbelievable meal.
I couldn’t help feeling the sense of family while I was in Southern California. Firstly, it is November – not only the time of the Thanksgiving holiday, but also the month that both of my uncles passed over, as well as my beloved grandmother. For my mother, this is always a difficult month. The other reason why this sense was so strong for me is that my grandmother lived in San Diego, a city that continues to have a strong place in my heart, even after many years.
The first time I went to San Diego was when I was five years old. My grandmother had four children (which was very common in that generation) and raised them on the farm, and her wish was to have one in the hospital! To say she was/is strong would be quite an understatement. After leaving my grandfather – also quite difficult in those days – she saw an ad in the local newspaper from a woman who was looking for a companion to go across the country with her to California. My grandmother read the ad, and as they say, the rest is history! She lived the rest of her life in San Diego, a place she absolutely loved. Not long after, my uncles followed, leaving only my mother back east, essentially in the same small town she was raised in.
Spending two weeks in Southern California and feeling my grandmother’s presence, with wonderful memories, was very heartwarming to me. She not only was someone I truly admired, but in some ways, I hope that some of her qualities – being a strong, independent, good woman – were passed down to me.
Now, I know that holidays can bring up wonderful thoughts, and some not so wonderful ones . . . however, it is a great time to make connections with those here and on the Other Side. So, enjoy the people with whom you want to share this special time, and be thankful for the many blessings we all have. It’s not so out of our realm to set a place at the table for your DP’s – they don’t take up much room and, well, with them there’s lots of leftovers! For me, and for most of us, I would say without question when you use some family recipes or dishes that are meaningful to your DPs, or just include your them in your thoughts during this thankful holiday, they will be there in spirit with you. All this just adds to the time spent together with family and friends. Again, it really is a time to give thanks for all your blessings, and send out prayers for those who could use a loving touch.