Thursday, November 28, 2013

The First Thanksgiving

This is our first Thanksgiving without Paul.  I feel many different emotions today.  I know this day will be different without him here.  I already miss him bustling around the house...  

Paul loved to bake.  He made the best rolls ever!  He would make those the day before Thanksgiving so we could have the oven free to cook the turkey... 

I am so grateful for the knowledge that I will be with Paul again--that we are an eternal family. Of course this goes without saying, but I will miss him terribly today. 

I am grateful that I get to spend today with my wonderful in-laws.  I know that Paul will be  happy to see the family together.  Family has always been so important to him...not just "his" family but "my" family as well.  

Often times, we would combine my family and Paul's together for holidays and other important occasions.  We are just one big happy family!  Unfortunately, we are not able to have us all together today...but I know the love will still be felt.

As I ponder the things I have experienced the past couple years, I feel gratitude.  Yes, I have felt and at times still feel immeasurable sorrow; shed many tears; wondered how life could continue.  Through it all, I have been blessed.

The Apostle Paul counseled, “In EVERY THING give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thes. 5:18).

We are also told, “he who receiveth ALL things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold” (D&C 78:19).

We have been counseled in the scriptures to be grateful for every thing.  Not just the things that make us happy.  I have discovered, if I am grateful for all things, my life is greatly enriched and I receive even greater blessings.

Dallin H. Oaks has said, “we should even give thanks for our afflictions because they turn our hearts to God and give us opportunities to prepare for what God would have us become…

“When we give thanks in all things, we see hardships and adversities in the context of the purpose of life. We are sent here to be tested. There must be opposition in all things. We are meant to learn and grow through that opposition, through meeting our challenges, and through teaching others to do the same.”

As I discussed in my previous post, Grateful for Cancer, I have discovered that we can find sweetness in life in spite of the bitter or even because of the bitter.

I have an amazing widow friend, Veronica, who recently posted on this same topic.  I was teasing her the other day.  I told her she just wrote my next post for me.  Here is a link to that post.  How do you give thanks in all things?

I have truly been blessed!  In closing this post, I would like to quote a widower friend:

As hard as it is to explain, I feel closer to the Lord than ever in my life; I echo Job’s summation: ‘the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”


  1. Sandra, I love reading your posts and feeling the strength of your faith. Yesterday one of my friends died, literally really, dropped dead at age 55. he was fit and it was so unexpected. He leaves behind a wife and 6 kids - the oldest 4 are grown but the youngest are just 10 and 12. When the dust settles I am going to suggest jenny reads your posts as she too contemplates a life here without her eternal companion x

  2. You are my hero Sandra! Your faith, strength, insight and are inspiring and I love you!--Denise