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Our Thanksgiving Dinner Guest Knew He Was Dying Of Cancer, But He Was Thankful

Updated on January 1, 2015
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Mary enjoys sharing events in her life that have inspired her and makes her even more thankful.

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Our Thanksgiving Dinner Guest, John, Was Thankful For His Blessings

One of our guests who came to our Thanksgiving dinner knew he was dying. He had been told by his doctor that he had a short time to live. He had been through treatment and would not go through any more. He did not feel sorry for himself. He gave a beautiful thanksgiving prayer to thank God for all his blessings. In the short time I knew John, he taught me to be more thankful for the good things in my life. We can be here today, and gone tomorrow.

A Little Background To My Story

To give you a little background, I must tell you that this gentleman was part of our Thanksgiving Day Dinner. I had never met the man before our dinner. Our tradition at Thanksgiving is to have each family member bring a guest. I have a big family that includes my 4 married children and their husbands. The guest that they invite has to be someone special: A person who needs extra love and attention, preferably someone who is homeless, and someone who is “down on their luck”, or someone who is in a Nursing Home and has no one to share dinner with. You get the idea. I never know who is coming to dinner, and I never know how many people will show up to share our dinner. My daughters bring the vegetables and salads. I cook turkeys, ham, and the pies.

It’s an exciting day for me. Before Thanksgiving Day I cleaned my house from top to bottom. I polished the silver, and got out the good linens. The antique blue crystal is washed and dried. I started making pies the day before, and the turkeys are in the oven to start cooking early in the morning on the big day. Wednesday, the men in the family came and helped me clean off the 4 picnic tables we have in the back yard. The weather report called for a warm, sunny day for Thanksgiving. I was grateful for that news. We will have to eat outside to accommodate all these people.

I had told my family to come with their guests ready to eat by 2 P.M. I expected about 25 people to come to dinner, but we wound up with a total of 42 guests. That was because my children found it hard to choose just one person to bring, so they each brought more than one guest. That was fine with me. I knew there would be enough food.

I Meet John

One of my daughters had warned me that she had chosen a man who was dying of terminal Pancreatic Cancer. His name was John. His doctor told him he would not live long. He lived alone in a rented room. He had no family. I secretly dreaded meeting this man. What could we possibly talk about? What could I say to him? I was sure it was going to be very awkward for everyone.

When I was introduced to John, he gave me a warm hug, and thanked me for inviting him. He was fresh shaven, and smelled of nice after shave. He was dressed in clean casual pants and a nice long sleeved cotton shirt. I guessed his age at around 55. His hair was very thin and grey. I thought he probably had received chemotherapy treatments that had caused him to lose his hair. He was quite thin.

After everyone sat down to eat, my son in law gave a beautiful prayer of thanks. One of my daughters said, “Let’s each one tell what we have to be thankful for this year.” I wanted to kick her under the table. I immediately thought of John. What could he possibly be thankful for knowing he was soon to die?

When it came time for John to speak, he stood and bowed his head and closed his eyes. He prayed one of the most beautiful prayers I’ve ever heard. I wish I could remember his exact words. He gave thanks for his new friends. He gave thanks to God for allowing him to live long enough to be a part of our family on this special day. He gave thanks for all his past blessings, and he asked God to forgive him for any wrongdoing he might have done in his lifetime. He closed his prayer by saying to God, “I’m ready to go now.” No one had a dry eye when he finished his prayer.

John played with his food. He wanted me to think he was eating the food we had prepared, but it was obvious he just couldn’t eat very much. Everyone finished their dinner, and we were just sitting around talking and waiting until they had room for the pies. When you have a crowd of lonely people they are so thrilled to have someone to talk to it’s like they are making up for lost time. They become chatterboxes. John made an effort to socialize with the other guests, but I could tell he was getting very tired. He went over to my daughter who had brought him, and whispered something to her. She came to me and said that John needed to leave because he was quite tired.


I Tell John Goodbye

At the door, John hugged me as tightly as he could, and thanked me again for inviting him to dinner. I was fighting back tears when I told him how happy I was he had come to our Thanksgiving dinner. When he turned to go, I knew I’d never see him again. I knew Pancreatic Cancer would take another life.

John Dies

My daughter called me at 6 AM the next morning to say that John’s landlady had just found him. He had died in his sleep during the night.

This is one Thanksgiving I’ll never forget. I will never forget John. People come and go in our lives. Some people add to our lives. I think God sent John to us to make us all more thankful for our blessings. We all realize that we can be here today and gone tomorrow.

I have these dinners for selfish reasons. I get far more than I receive by opening up my home to special people who just need someone to care. I wish I could have known John longer. He could have added a lot to my life.

Our Thanksgiving Tradition Will Continue

About a year ago, I downsized from my house where we held our Thanksgiving dinners. I now live in a small apartment. I miss my old spacious house and yard, but one of my daughters who has a large house will be the hostess this year.

It makes me happy that my children want to continue to welcome other people to our bountiful table to share a meal with us. I hope they will carry on our Thanksgiving traditional dinner and invite other people who need love.



© 2011 Mary Hyatt

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    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, MsDora. Thank you so much. I'm glad you found my story about John a heartwarming one. Yes, he was unforgettable.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      What a great family tradition and people like John must be as grateful as they can possibly be! This is a very heartwarming story. Thank you for sharing.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi, SusanDeppner. I'm happy you like our Thanksgiving tradition. We are always blessed by those people who share our meal. I'm so sorry you have lost two brothers to cancer. I'm at that age in life where I am losing more and more of my friends to this horrible disease.

      My family were happy to know John even if it was for a short time; he made us more grateful for our blessings.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Mary

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love your Thanksgiving tradition! Clearly you've been blessed with a special gift of hospitality. Having lost both my brothers to cancer over the past couple of years, reading about John was especially meaningful to me. Bless you for providing John that last meal and an opportunity to minister to others through his testimony.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, Maria. I am so happy you did find my Thanksgiving story about John, and was moved by reading it. It pleases me to know that I remind you of your beloved Momma.

      My family and I still talk about John, and how we wish we could have known him longer.

      Thank you so much for the nice comment, the votes, and the share. Love and hugs right back at you! Mary

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Mary,

      You are one of two people who truly reminds me of my Momma...this is a most touching and powerful story.

      I believe it is timeless, as evidenced by the series of comments you have gotten over the years and I feel blessed to have happened upon it today.

      Thank you for inspiring me with this beautiful message. Voted UP AND UABI and sharing. Love and hugs, Maria

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, Jodah. Yes, I've always believed John was sent to us to make us even more thankful for our many blessings. I just wish I could have known this man longer.

      Thank you so much for your sincere comment, and the votes, too. Mary

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This was great Mary. I congratulate you on your wonderful sense of community an acceptance. John's story is heart warming and I agree he was sent to spend Thanksgiving with your family for a reason. Beautiful. Voted up.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, pstraubie48. We had our annual Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at the daughter's house, and I was so happy all four of my daughters chose to bring a guest who needed some extra love in their lives.

      There are so many homeless people in our area; I wish I could feed them all.

      I hope you had a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving Day, Mary

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      If only everyone lived today, rather than trying to second guess the future how different their lives would be.

      What a lovely moving story of someone who knew the gift of life.

      Thank you for sharing this. I am reading it on Thanksgiving Day while foods are preparing to go to my daughter's.

      We are so blessed ...each of us is so thankful...

      Many hugs and Angels to you , Mary ps

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi, aesta1, I'm glad you like our family's Thanksgiving tradition. We enjoy doing this every year. I'm looking forward to our dinner today and hope we will again make new friends who need some love.

      Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks, Mary

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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, Vellur. I makes me very happy my Hub about our Thanksgiving guest, John, touched you. John certainly touched our hearts, too.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Mary

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Mary. What beautiful tradition. Every year, your children in looking for the special guest become more aware of what's going on in society. Thank you for sharing.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Your hub touched my heart and soul thank you for sharing this.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi vocalcoach (Audrey), Oh, I am so honored that you would read my story about John to your family. You know, we all still talk about this wonderful man.

      I am looking forward to our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow at my daughter's house. It will be wonderful to meet some new people!

      I hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi, PinoyMom. Yes, we should always be grateful for all our blessings. We think we have problems, but then we meet a man like John who makes us feel even more blessed.

      I'm happy you found my story about John touching.

      I hope you and yours have a wonderful and blessed

      Thanksgiving, Mary

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I had to come back to this beautiful and touching story. I will be reading this to my family tomorrow at our Thanksgiving table. Thank you Mary. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Audrey

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      I envy John. We must be grateful for the life that God gave to us despite of the problems we are currently facing. Such a touching story. I'm sorry for your daughter's loss.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi, EZ Swim Fitness. Thank you so much for reading and for the very nice comment. Yes, we certainly should give thanks each and every day for all our blessings. John made my family appreciate all of our blessings even more.

      Thanks for the vote, and I'm happy to meet you here, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Mary

    • EZ Swim Fitness profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 2 years ago from Southern Wisconsin

      So many of the world's best people have been taken by Pancreatic cancer. I am so glad I found you and stopped by. What a beautiful story for every day of the year - welcoming people, being thankful should be an every day item. Beautiful! Voted up!

      Blessings to you and your family.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi, colorfulone. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Yes, we were all blessed by this man's presence at our Thanksgiving dinner. You know, I still tear up when I think of John.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Mary

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Mary, this is a wonderful Thanksgiving story. What a blessing you and your family were to John at his last supper. I'm drying my tears.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, Jill Freeman. Thank you for the nice compliment on my story about John. He was truly an inspiration to all of us, and I'm so glad he came into our lives even for a brief time.

      Yes, this is a family tradition I hope we will continue. Happy Thanksgiving, Mary

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      Jill Freeman 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Mary - this is one of the most beautiful hubs I've read. I love that you have made it a tradition to open your home to others on Thanksgiving. We never know the gifts that will be brought our way in the people we meet. You have had a wonderful gift in John. Thank you for sharing him and your story with us.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi there, Lady Guinevere. That was a wonderful thing you did at Thanksgiving time, too. I'm sure you got a lot of good from doing that; I certainly have.

      I'm happy my daughters will carry on our tradition of inviting someone less fortunate to Thanksgiving dinner. I can't wait to see how many people come this year to our dinner.

      Yes, I truly believe John was sent to us for a specific reason, to make us more thankful. He was an Angel, I do believe! Happy Thanksgiving, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, DDE. What a lovely comment you made on my story about our Thanksgiving guest, John.

      Thank you so very much, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Mary

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Now this brought tears to my eyes. While we lived in Florida we also had guests. e would go to the Naval base and pick up two or three people there that had no homes or could not get home for Thanksgiving dinner. We would host them. They do not have that here where I live now and I kind of miss that. We do not have the room anymore either. It feels good to share life and life stories in this way.

      Mary, there are things called Angels Unawares and he was an Angel sent to you for that day. Everyone that gets sent to you are Angels in disguise.

      Please keep up with that tradition as long as you can.

      John went home knowing that there are still good people in the world and that made him happy when he went through the door home.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A most incredible and certainly an unforgettable story. I held my breath just reading the first few lines. You told this story so greatly.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Thank you so much for sharing my story on your FB page. I do hope your readers will enjoy it. I found your page, and I am glad I did.

      I hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving, Mary

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      Susan Ream 3 years ago from Michigan

      Mary, I'm sharing your story on my FB writers page called Mekenzie's World. I think the story will touch many lives and the timing is perfect!

      Happy Thanksgiving dear!

      Mekenzie

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Country-Sunshine. It is so nice to meet you here today! Thank you so much for the lovely comment on my Hub about John our guest at Thanksgiving. We were truly blessed to meet this wonderful man.

      I can't wait to see how many guests will be at our table this Thanksgiving!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 3 years ago from Texas

      This is such a beautiful story!

      Many people are uncomfortable being around those with terminal illnesses; they tend to think of the disease, and not the person. So many need to be welcomed into a family, or just being given a "bit of time", so I'm certain that John felt blessed to be invited to your meal.

      Your article is a great reminder to us all of what the meaning of what Thanksgiving - and life - is all about. Bless you!

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, rebeccamealey I'm glad you found my story about John a touching one. He certainly left all of us feeling even more thankful. I'm so happy I had the chance to meet John.

      I am looking forward to our dinner again this year, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi Mekenzie I am so sorry to learn of your lady friend who is also dying. We can all learn such valuable lessons from people like her and my "John". I often wonder if I would have the same attitude that these people have. John was certainly not afraid to die; he certainly enriched our lives as I'm sure your friend is also doing for all of you.

      Yes, I'm happy my children will continue to have these Thanksgiving dinners. They can only benefit from them.

      So nice to meet you here today, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Jackie. Sometimes I think people like John comes into our lives for a reason. John certainly made all of us more thankful for our blessings. I still tear up when I think of John.

      Thanks so much for commenting, the votes and the shares, Mary

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very touching story to go with this season of giving thanks. Good health is a blessing, but faith is an even greater one.

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 3 years ago from Michigan

      Hello Mary, I found your hub listed in my feed just now and I am so blessed to read it.

      I have a 'John' in my life right now. A precious lady who was given 3 - 6 months to live. This woman shines with the love of Jesus and she is genuinely excited to meet Him very soon.

      My husband and I recently became small group leaders at our Church and she is part of a very blessed group God has brought together. She has chosen me to walk beside her as her spiritual encourager but our group WILL all walk her through this.

      I too have such mixed emotions - It hurts to love her - but I wouldn't trade the opportunity for anything. Her life is a walking testimony of God's Grace in the valley of the shadow of death.

      Your story is precious and your legacy is powerful. Your children have picked up the mantra and will bless many generations to come.

      Thank you for sharing this heart felt story and God bless you for touching so many lives through your Thanksgiving Dinner.

      Blessings!

      Mekenzie

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Such a beautiful story; especially at this time of year. Reminds us if what life is really all about. You have a beautiful heart. Up and sharing,

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, Kenneth. Yes, I'm sure you are grateful for your family. I just had my first Great Granddaughter! Does that mean I'm getting old? Absolutely not!

      Thanks for being such a wonderful supporter here on HP! Mary

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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, ezzly, how nice to meet you here today! Thanks so much for reading my story about John and commenting.

      I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving, Mary

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Nov. 16

      Dear Mary,

      Good evening. It is just 9:30 p.m.,/cst/ and raining here and that means bedtime. I know that you are thankful for all of your blessings. I thank God for that.

      And I have not told you in several days, but you were among my first followers and I am thankful for YOU being in my life. You are a very sweet lady.

      Yes, I am also grateful for the little things such as my grandkids' smiles and growth.

      Thanks for the sweet wish, dear friend.

      Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas, my friend.

      Kenneth

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 3 years ago

      Hey Mary many thanks, I hope you have a blessed time too !

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, kenneth avery. I do not let a day go by without giving thanks for all my blessings, and I have many! I don't take any of my blessings for granted. I enjoy good health and a wonderful family. Who could ask for more?

      I'm sure you are also grateful for your blessings, too.

      I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day, Mary

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      dear Mary615,

      Each time we talk, I learn something wise.

      You are so right. Each day that I am given, I need to do my best to appreciate and be thankful for it.

      You are a sweet friend. Thank you for your special friendship.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, ezzly. Thank you so much for the lovely comment. I appreciate that so much.

      I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving, Mary

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 3 years ago

      What a touching story, thank you for sharing, God bless.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Gail. Thanks so much for reading my story about our Thanksgiving guest. It will be interesting to see how many guests we have this year. I'll be glad to meet new people, but there can never be another John.

      Thanks so much for the votes and the share.

      I hope you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving, Mary

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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Kenneth, I appreciate your nice compliment on my writing ability. I've never considered myself a good writer like some of you folks, but I enjoy telling a story.

      You are so right; none of us knows how long we will be permitted to enjoy life, so we should appreciate each single day.

      Happy Thanksgiving once again, Mary

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 3 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi Mary,

      Stopped by to read this again and found it as moving and inspirational as the first time I read it.

      Hope many people read it this Thanksgiving.

      Voted up across the board except for funny, and shared.

      Sending Blessings, Love & Hugs,

      Gail

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      My Dear mary615,

      Good afternoon on Nov. 13. It is 1:44 p.m. and I have just finished my household chores and was checking messages and here you are! Thanks for your very sweet holiday wishes.

      You are a very talented writer, Mary. I have always thought that of you.

      But this story just tore my heart all to pieces. This means that YOU have that sensitive talent to convey a topic although it might be a bit sad.

      Keep in touch with me for we do not know how long we have to stay on this beautiful planet.

      Your Friend for Life,

      Kenneth

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, kenneth avery, What a lovely comment you left for me about our Thanksgiving dinner guest.

      I am also thankful for your friendship and support. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too. My best to you, Mary

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Mary615,

      Truly, you are a deeply-sensitive and talented writer.

      I am honored to call you "friend."

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi there, sallybea. Yes, this is about our Thanksgiving dinner a couple of years ago. I have now downsized from my big house, but this year we will continue our tradition at a daughter's house.

      We still want to continue to welcome those less fortunate than we are.

      Thank you so much for the nice compliment, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi FlourishAnyway, Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment. Thank, too, for the vote and the share. My best, Mary

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      I felt as if I were a guest at your Thanksgiving table. I note that the hub is around 2 years old and yet it matters not, for the memories are the same. I too knew a John who died of pancreatic cancer two years ago - such a sudden and unexpected death at Christmas but it was good to remember him this day. For many Christmas or Thanksgiving can be such a difficult time. Knowing that there are people out there, just like yourselves, who offer others less fortunate, or lonely, a place to be with others, is really nice to know. Thanks for having us as guests in your home and for reminding us that there are always someone less fortunate than ourselves.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This was very beautiful and moving. Voted up and sharing.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Sherry Hewins Thank you very much. We have had this Thanksgiving tradition dinner for many years. As I said in the Hub, it is sort of selfish in a way, because I get so much pleasure from opening up our dinner table for people less fortunate.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 3 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      That's a beautiful Thanksgiving tradition that you have. I think it gives a lot to everybody involved.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, teaches12345 Thanks so much for the reread on my Hub. We will have our Thanksgiving dinner again this year, and hope I will meet some new friends my children will bring as guests.

      So nice to see you, Mary

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      This was once again inspiring to read. Friendships made, even if for short season, can add to much beauty to our lives.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, vocalcoach I do believe in "angels on earth"; those people who are sent into our lives for reason. I think John was one of these people. Thank you so much for your beautiful compliment and comment.

      I hope you have a blessed day today! Mary

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm so glad to be back to read this touching and very beautiful story. Just think - you and your family were the last folks John spent his time with before God called him home.

      The blessing you gave to a perfect stranger, was the same as giving to God.

      You're a loving and compassionate, kind person.

      I'm blessed to have your friendship. Audrey

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Mary,

      I have to agree with you. I have known special people over my teen and adult years and for some reason they left, or passed from a disease. But what a mark they left on our lives.

      You are plumb welcome as us Alabamians say, Mary.

      Take care.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi again, Kenneth I think John was sent into our lives to bring us all together in giving more thanks for our blessings.

      Thanks again, I appreciate your friendship, Mary

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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, ologsinquito Yes, I like to think we made John's last dinner on earth a little happier for him. I wish we could have known him longer. I'll never forget John.

      Thank you so much, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Jaye. I truly believe people come into our lives for a reason. Just having John at our family dinner made each one of us even more thankful for our blessings.

      We will have our traditional Thanksgiving dinner again this year, but at a daughter's house since I have downsized since I wrote this Hub. I am already looking forward to our dinner.

      Thank you so much for reading about John, and I am glad you were moved by my true story.

      Thank you, too for the votes and the share, Mary

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Mary,

      Hey, reading this was MY pleasure. All of it.

      You are blessed with "that' special touch when you write on a topic such as this one that makes it deeper in meaning and I appreciate you for doing this.

      Your Friend for Life,

      Kenneth

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      What a beautiful, although sad story. Your family made this man's last Thanksgiving (actually his last day) on earth a much happier time. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord.....

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Oh, Mary....This is such a beautiful and heartwarming story on so many levels, even while it is sad enough that I cried while I read it. Your family's Thanksgiving tradition of inviting lonely or needy guests is a wonderful one. The fact that your family members find it hard to limit their invitation to only one guest shows a true love of humanity. You must be very proud of each one. (And you are undoubtedly their role model.)

      I think John's presence at your Thanksgiving dinner that year, while it may have been painful because you knew his fate, was also a blessing to you and your family, as it was to him at a time when he needed to be with people who cared. That he died during the night makes the story even more poignant, but the blessing all the more precious.

      Voted Up++++ and shared

      Jaye

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, ChitrangadaSharan Yes, there are so many people in the world who need love and understanding, not just at Thanksgiving, but all year long, too. I wish I could do more for people like John.

      Thanks so much for reading, commenting and the votes, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Daisy Mariposa, Thank you so much. Since I wrote this Hub, I have downsized from my 3/2 house into a tiny apartment. One of my daughters has said we can carry on our family tradition by having our dinner at her house, and I'm happy about that.

      My best to you, Mary

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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, kenneth avery What a nice compliment on my Hub about John. You just made my day!

      I think I will always remember John; he left a mark on my heart.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and vote, Mary

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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, lambservant Iwas happy to share my story of John. I wish I could have known him longer. He must have been a wonderful human being.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, My best, Mary

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      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      What a compassionate and touching story!

      A true example of 'Humane feelings' for another human being.

      Thanks for sharing and voted up!

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      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Mary,

      This is an excellent piece of writing. To be totally-honest, it can easily be described as amazing.

      I loved every word. Graphics were superb. This hub was helpful, informative and I found it very interesting.

      Voted up and all the choice, but FUNNY, because you deserve it.

      You have such a gift for writing. Keep writing no matter what.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

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      Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Mary,

      I returned to read your Hub about John another time. What a wonderful tradition your family has!

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      Lori Colbo 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I poignant story. Tears and gratitude for this man. Would that we all appreciated the Johns of this world.

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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Audrey, I'm glad you found my article about John touching. He truly touched my life; I won't ever forget him.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read about John, Mary

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      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Oh my Mary--so very touching!

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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi Sunshine625 I'm happy you thought my story about John was beautiful. He was a beautiful person.

      I would liked to have known him better, my best, Mary

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      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      A beautiful story...Thanks again for sharing it with us. We could all learn a lesson from it.

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi HappyMikeWritter. So nice to "meet you". Thank you for reading my Hub and for the compliment on my story about John. He was a dear man, and I wish I could have known him longer.

      I do these dinners each Thanksgiving, because it makes me happy to do so.

      Goodnight, Mary

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      HappyMikeWritter 4 years ago

      Mary I am sure John would be very happy and greatfull if he knew How his presence changed your life. I have never red anything as beautiful and full of thoughts as you describe it. I am totally amazed by what you are doing for people in needs at the thanksgiving.

      I am so greatfull that people as you are around us and makes this world a better place.

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Thank you, marcoujor, for reading about our dinner guest, and for the very nice compliment on my writing. I do appreciate that.

      Thanks for the votes, too. Goodnight, Mary

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      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      A beautiful story told with a powerful and inspiring writing style.

      Unforgettable, Mary. Excellent work! Voted UP and UABI.

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi, ChrisStyles. It is nice to "meet" you today. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment on my Hub, and I'm glad you found it touching. Yes, John caused us all to be more thankful for what we have.

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      ChrisStyles 4 years ago from USA

      That was a very touching story. Thank you.

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Happy Thanksgiving, Eddy. I'm glad you enjoyed my Hub about John. I like to think he would enjoy knowing how much he was loved. He was a dear man. I wish we could have spent more time together.

      See you again, soon.....Mary

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      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Ohj how sad mary bu also beautiful and I know that John will indeed be looking down on you with a special smile for writing this tribute. Have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      midet38, you are so nice to come back again to read about the man who who came to our Thanksgiving dinner.

      I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. I'm not sure if you celebrate Thanksgiving in Singapore with a big dinner and all that.

      Goodnight, Mary

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      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Back again to say what a touching story this is. Mary, thanks again for sharing it.

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Such a sad story about your sister in law. Like John, she got to spend the day with her family and friends. I know that meant a lot to her.

      I searched for your Hub, but no success. Wish we could put links in our comments; sure would be easier to find. Please give me the title cause I'd sure like to read it.

      Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

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      alphagirl 5 years ago from USA

      @ years ago I got so spend Thanksgiving at my sister's home. My sistinlaw, Helen was dying of lung cancer. It took her hours to get ready just to come because of the pain and meds. I was grateful to have seen her. Her plate was full of food. She ate and we chatted. I was shocked at how much she had changed because of the pain meds. She died about 3 weeks later. I was Thankful, I got to fly home and see her. I was so upset, I hubbed about her. Your hub is a reminder to me, "To Be Thankful for all that I have."

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      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      That's great! I hope she is enjoying Eugene. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi, xstatic. We will continue in our tradition this coming Thanksgiving. My kids and I were talking about this just today. I said can anyone give me any idea how many guests will be coming?? No one ever knows for sure. That's OK, we'll feed them all and give thanks.

      My granddaughter that I told you moved to Oregon will be home for Christmas (she can't come for Thanksgiving), and I'll be so happy to see her.

      I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friend.

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      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      What a wonderful tradition that is and this is such a beautiful story, so appropriate to the time of year. It is a lesson in being thankful for life itself.

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Deborah Neyens. I am so happy you enjoyed my story about John, the man who came to our Thanksgiving Dinner enough that you would come back and reread it.

      I appreciate your support more than you know. Mary

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      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      I loved this story so much I'm coming back again so I can share it for Thanksgiving.

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Oh, Irc7815, you are so right when you say blessings come in so many unexpected packages! I think John was went into our lives to make all of us more thankful.

      Thank you for the beautiful comment and compliment. Mary

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      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Mary, blessings come in so many unexpected packages. Bless you and your family for giving John a place to make his final peace. These are the little miracles that give us all reason to try a little harder, dig a little deeper, and do a little more. Simply beautiful.