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November 2022

I have a white tablecloth that I bought the year my oldest child was born. There is nothing special about the fabric itself, in fact, as I recall it was pretty cheap, probably came from Target or TJ Max or someplace. If you looked at it from afar you would think it’s just a mess of scribbles and stains and bad drawings in Sharpie, but upon closer examination, if you are willing to look, that tablecloth tells a story. Here is a scribble with the annotation “Han’s second Thanksgiving, aged 1 year and 1 day.” Next to it is a note from my sister-in-law, the year that she had brain surgery that enabled her to use her hands again for fine tasks – she was grateful for her doctors and that she would soon be back to sewing. There is a note from my nephew’s friend who came along for Thanksgiving one year and drank a case of Slim Fast out of the garage fridge. His note? Thankful for Slim Fast, of course. My children’s messages changed over the years as well, from thankfulness over Turkey legs and Legos to Minecraft, best friends and cell phones and even “My first car!” My mom and bonus dad got married over Thanksgiving weekend many years ago and so each year, somewhere on the old tablecloth, is a notation of gratitude for which anniversary of marital bliss was being celebrated. Don always signed his gratitude note with “The Old Man…” The cast of characters has changed over the years as cousins have grown up, children have started families of their own and grandparents have moved on to be with God, but one thing remains. Gratitude. There is always something to be thankful for. Thanks be to God.

With love,

Rev Brae

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