A Century of Thanksgiving

I know we are almost to Christmas & Thanksgiving seesm like a distant memory, but I really wanted to share what is a special memory for our family….

Every year Candace and I travel to Lakeland, Florida, to celebrate Thanksgiving with about 40 to 50 members from her side of our family. Specifically, it is my mother-in-law’s side of the family. We made the decision to go there before we were married in an effort to see Candace’s great-gradmother, otherwise know as Mimaw, as many times as we could before she passes away. At the time, the majority of the family was certain she had maybe two years left to live….BOY were they wrong!

It is now six years (and six Thanksgivings) later….and Mimaw is still with us! I know I have only been around for six years, but I walked away from this Thanksgiving feeling like it was one of the most special the family has ever experienced together. I thought it would be pretty hard to top the first year I was part of their Thanksgiving….the ones I experienced growing up were very different. However, this year had a special feel to it.

You could feel something was different this year right as it started out. We were all beginning to gather together in the living room for the traditional singing of hymns mixed with worhsip songs, a devotional, and prayer as a family. (On a side note, this can be a torturous 20-30 minutes because the food is visible in the kithen THE WHOLE TIME!) Before the signing started Johnny (not me) was filming the family with his video camera. He zoomed in on Mimaw and said hello…then told her all of us getting together was “her fault.” That struck me! He’s right….we are all there because of her! This Thanksgiving is her 101st, she has been alive over 100 years; and has been the foundation for the sense of love and kinship the family shows today. While her ability to help cook and prepare has diminished, it is more evident than ever her influence on the family and the love we share has only increased as the years have passed.

The family’s unconditional love for each other is an inspiration for the coming generations. All of us see it, respect it, and deeply cherish it. No matter what the fmaily or its members are going through….we all find the time to come together. In my opnion, it’s the perfect model to follow as our family grows….

Enjoy the Holidays, no matter what is happening this year….you never know how much longer you have with those you love most.

Even though she will never read it, I still want to say it…..Thank you, Mimaw, for being the cornerstone of love for the family.

About John Bendever, Jr.

I'm madly in love with one woman, father of two world changers, entrepreneur, internet marketing nerd, and most importantly...I am a son of the Most High God.

Thank you for taking time to read my blog, and I truly hope it inspires you to grow outside your fears to become who you are meant to be....to live how you are meant to live.

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