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Thanksgiving Prayer - A Family Tradition

Updated on November 20, 2016

A Tate Family Thanksgiving


Our Thanksgiving Prayer or Blessing

This page tells the story of one Thanksgiving that my Dad was unable to give the Thanksgiving Blessing and we found a very special Thanksgiving prayer that became a tradition.  Prayer is and always has been a very important part of my life and sharing this story is definitely sharing a part of me and my family.I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving and have many happy memories of our Tate Family on Thanksgiving.

There are several special Thanksgivings that I remember very vividly. One was when Mom and Dad invited an older couple to join us explaining that they would be all alone that year. Mom and I made animals for the table out of peanuts and pipe cleaners. We sat them all over the table around her centerpiece which was always a large oval bowl of wax and plastic fruit. We had all given her that fruit over the years. She would also use large wooden spools from the cotton mill for the candle sticks.

The fruit that I use in my cornucopia which you will see later in a short video is that same fruit that my Mom used.

Yes, I am sentimental. Just continue to scroll to read our story.

Photo:  A Cross Stitch Tray that I did for my Dad and Stepmother for Our Tate Family Thanksgivings. I am not very good with a needle and thread so this was made with great love and now hangs in my kitchen.

Music to enjoy while reading this page. - Thanksgiving Medley

Enjoy singing along as you scroll down this page.

For the Beauty of the Earth

Happy Times Did Not Last

but our Love for Family grew stronger and stronger.

Our Mother developed Alzheimers at the early age of 56 and passed away 9 years later. These were some very hard years but we somehow managed to get through them. I remember dressing my mother for my college graduation so I really missed her during my adult years. There was so little known about Alzheimers in the 70's and at least today there are support groups and information that can be read. I pray that advances will continue to be made in the research of this dreaded disease.Alzheimer's Association.

Our Dad was seriously ill after our Mom's death and was on Intensive Care with a ruptured Aortic Aneurysm for more days than I care to remember. After he regained his strength, he started getting out more and met a wonderful woman and re-married. We began to combine her family and ours for a Tate Family Thanksgiving and there was always one thing that stayed the same. Our Dad would give the most beautiful blessing before we began dinner. He was a big man with a deep but soft voice and when he spoke, we listened. His blessings set the tone for the day and left us all with a wonderful secure feeling of "family".

We enjoyed this tradition for about 9 years and then our brother tragically passed away at the young age of 36. It was about more than we could all endure especially our Dad. Two months later was Thanksgiving and for this reason we moved the celebration to my house which was just down the hill from my Dad's. He and our sweet Step Mother were totally unable to entertain at that point, but we all felt the need to get together. The question arose about the blessing. The thought of my Dad not saying the blessing was very hard to handle but we knew that he would never be able to emotionally get through it. I started looking for a special prayer and as if I was being directed by my Mother, I pulled out her old collection of Ideals Magazines. It was there that I found the prayer that would become our new family tradition and one that we would share with others who have lost loved ones. You see, we lost our Dad the next April so this was the last Thanksgiving that we spent with him.

The holidays are always a rough time for those who have lost loved ones. This prayer helped us get through that sad Thanksgiving and remember the good times.My sisters and I, along with our families, hope that this prayer brings comfort and is as meaningful to you and yours.

Update 2016: This year we lost our oldest sister so the family of six is now just 2 from our family we grew up with.

We will miss our Betty!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Grace For Thanksgiving Day

by Alice Kennelly Roberts

Grace for Thanksgiving Day

Alice Kennelly Roberts

Dear God,Wherever we may be...On this Thanksgiving Day...Gathered with loved ones in our homes...Or many miles away...We bow our heads, remembering those...Who shared Thanksgiving past...Those who have walked with us awhile...Whose love will always last...We thank Thee for the joy of friends...The food before us set...And for a tiny Pilgrim band...Whose trials we can't forget...Help us to sift the good and bad...The hatred and the strife...Grant us the wisdom and the strength...To lead a useful life. Amen

I am so thankful that Alice Kennelly Roberts wrote this Thanksgiving prayer for family.

Making a Thanksgiving Card with this prayer - We now share this Thanksgiving Prayer each year

Our families now try to remember those who have lost loved ones during the year by sharing this poem either as an email, a handwritten note or a handmade card. I try to keep a list in my calendar of people who lose loved ones throughout the year and then send them one of these cards either by snail mail, email, or message on facebook.This is the card that I used last year with a patchwork type border of some of my cornucopia pictures as seen below in the little slide show along with some designs.Traditionally, we have copies for everyone at the table so that it can be read in unison. We have also used it at our Tate Family Reunions as a part of the closing ceremony.It is such a simple little prayer but goes a long way and says a lot. We think it is a great Thanksgiving prayer for family

A Letter Written Thanksgiving 1958 To Our Parents From My Sister, Betty

Our mother had sent it into the "Greenville News" Newspaper - I think they need to reprint this!

Letter to the Editor from our mother:Considering all of the publicity given to juvenile delinquency and the crimes committed by teenagers it seems only fair that publicity be given the good actions of Christian teenagers.We received the following letter from our 18 year old daughter, who is a freshman in college, and the letter gave us such a deep feeling of gratitude and pride that we would like to share it with others.We are not seeking any personal publicity and ask that all identities be omitted if you see fit to publish the letter.

Dear Mom and Dad,

As we approach the Thanksgiving Season, I cannot help but think of the many things I have for which to be thankful. First of all, I thank God for being born to you, the most wonderful parents in the world; for being born in America, a country filled with opportunity and freedom; and for being a Christian, with sincere faith in God.And second, I thank you - for now I seem to realize the importance of things such as encouragement, help, faith, warmth, security, independence and love - all of these you have given me.And third, I am thankful that I am able to realize these things and thank you, in this small way, for everything you have given me.With greatest lovefrom your daughter

Editor's Note:Refreshing, isn't it? We found it so.The young lady has just about summed up all the things for which any of us could and should be prayerfully thankful today - "wonderful parents", "for being born in America, a country filled with opportunity and freedom", "security, faith...and love..."What else is there for any of us, and how precious they are!We could add only one more thing: devoted children such as she, and there are many of them. They give us hope for the future of this blessed land.

Ideals Magazines are Beautiful Keepsakes

Ideals Thanksgiving
Ideals Thanksgiving

I just love Ideals. It is filled with some very beautiful writings and pictures. I often will reflect on them and remember how much my mom enjoyed her Ideals.


My Artwork of our 1958 Thanksgiving Table - You Never Know What Your Children Will Remember!

I like to draw

I was 10 years old when I did this drawing. I remember it like it was yesterday. My birthday was in August and I had received from my folks a Jon Gnagy Art Set which included a pack of oil pastels. That is what I used to do our Thanksgiving Table. You can see the fruit bowl I was mentioning above and this time we had made turkeys out of pine cones and construction paper. I used to love to watch Learn To Draw With Jon Gnagy on television. I still enjoy painting and drawing so I guess it paid off.

I recently found out that some of the Learn to Draw With Jon Gnagy Television Shows are on YouTube. What fun to be able to look back at this show I enjoyed so much. I hope you will check it out after you finish reading this page.

Ideals Magazines on Sale at Ebay - These are such nice keepsakes

These lovely magazines were always around our home as our mother loved to read the poetry and enjoy the beautiful pictures. If you have never seen one, you might want to take a look. As you can tell, I still refer back to my mother's copies which she had bound in a big blue binder. I know in my heart that she is so happy that I am continuing to enjoy them.

Thanksgiving Decorations - I love to decorate with my Annalee Dolls

I have collected Annalees for many years and love to decorate with them. They make me happy to look at them. These are the ones that I always put in my foyer at Thanksgiving. The Pinecone Wreath was made by my mother in the 60's. It still looks pretty good, doesn't it?

Happy Thanksgiving! - Hope you will leave a comment. Thanks.

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    • Shiela Jones Wood profile image

      Shiela Jones Wood 3 years ago from Pendleton, South Carolina

      Thank you Nancy for thinking of me and sending me this prayer! I so much enjoy reading your lens. It is hard this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, but I'm clinging on to Gods words to get me through!

    • RuthieDenise profile image

      RuthieDenise 3 years ago

      Thank you for sharing about your family. It touched my heart. Bless all of you.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      Great tradition which expresses the true meaning of Thanksgiving! Nothing is more appropriate for a gathering around the table then a prayer on this day.Happy Thanksgiving with health, prosperity and love.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @JenniferAkers LM: Thank you so much for those kind words and for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 4 years ago

      What a wonderful lens on your family Thanksgiving prayer! I'm sentimental too, especially since my sister and I have lost so many family members. I'm going to share your page -- with all its goodies -- to friends and family on FB. Thank you! And Happy Thanksgiving to you, your sisters, and your family. Beautiful page.

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      Joan4 4 years ago

      Back to read this one for Thanksgiving! Thank you!

    • OMENA777 profile image

      OMENA777 5 years ago

      I love this lens, full of loving spirit

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 5 years ago from US

      This is just beautiful. Really.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      My goodness, I feel like I have joined your Thanksgiving table! Thank you for sharing such sweet memories and prayers. Happy Thanksgiving blessings and a bit o' sunshine!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm greatly touched by your lens. There might be sad stories behind your Thanksgiving themes but giving thanks about all these always gives a happy note. Your lens is quite healing.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Oh I so enjoyed visiting your Thanksgiving day dinner. A very happy Thanksgiving day to you and yours.

    • profile image

      Dawnella66 LM 5 years ago

      Wonderful and warm messages and memories..more precious than anything we can ever find in a store..wonderful read.

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 5 years ago

      I am lost for words~ Truly. Sending you and your family blessings for a beautiful Thanksgiving.

    • SPhilbrick profile image

      SPhilbrick 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving tradition and prayer with us. Wonderful!

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 5 years ago from South Africa

      Happy Thanksgiving 2012 x

    • profile image

      aishu19 5 years ago

      It was really lovely to read about such a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition. Happy Thanksgiving in advance

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @Joan4: I know. It was definitely one of those "God things"

    • profile image

      Joan4 5 years ago

      It is amazing to me still - your finding the special prayer, our survival of that first year after Mel's death, and the continuation of the blessings of sharing this beautiful prayer. Life does go on and indeed we have much to be thankful for in 2012!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens, I come back to give Blessings! i love family traditions!I also like the new additions to the lens...

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 5 years ago

      Wonderful Thanksgiving story.

    • victoriuh profile image

      victoriuh 5 years ago

      This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it. Blessings.

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      Congrats on LOtD!

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 6 years ago from Valencia, California

      Love the Lens

    • profile image

      ververicka 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this lens, beautiful prayer!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      enjoyed my visit here today, thank you.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Hi, and thank you for such a beautiful prayer. It would mean so much to my family to use it, if I may pass it on. we pray fro both my daughter and grandson who are in Afghanistan. I lost my mother in 1995 and my only sister in 2010, so it's so very appropriate for those we miss so much. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful lens. Blessed.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Hi, and thank you for such a beautiful prayer. It would mean so much to my family to use it, if I may pass it on. we pray fro both my daughter and grandson who are in Afghanistan. I lost my mother in 1995 and my only sister in 2010, so it's so very appropriate for those we miss so much. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful lens. Blessed.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 6 years ago

      What a great prayer for Thanksgiving!

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      quicpost 6 years ago

      Hi: I hope this is permissible to let you know about Oral Rober's Healing hour on tv with his son Richard Robert who has much testimonies about being cured of everything.

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      DebMartin 6 years ago

      What a beautifully crafted lens, as is your beautiful life. Thanks for sharing so very much.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanksgiving leftovers have a whole new meaning with that LotD smile I can see shining, congratulations, I am doing the dance of joy with you!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for sharing this prayer and also your sister's letter. We often forget to be grateful for the many things we enjoy.

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      Ladybeams 6 years ago

      Very nice lens. I wish I would have seen it a little sooner as I have a couple of dear friends who lost their mothers this year, right before Thanksgiving. I too, used to watch Jon and we bought my mother the Jon Gnagy Learn To Draw kit for my mother as she was always very artfully inclined. She did some fabulous sketches, though she never had enough confidence to ever pull them out of the original sketch pad. Thanks for sharing.

    • Srena44 profile image

      Srena44 6 years ago

      great lens

    • HomeArtist1 profile image

      Wendy Hughes 6 years ago from Charlotte

      I loved the pictures. Pictures are tangible bits of love, life and family. My son and I were sidetracked (as most people do when cleaning) over our discovery of a shoe box filled with photos; we may as well have stumbled upon a diamond as this was surely a treasure box! After gingerly handling and admiring, laughing and crying, we closed the lid. My son said, "Pictures are more special when they're old." It was such a special moment in time for both of us. If only we had a snapshot. Thanks to all for this lens. SMILES ~Wendy

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      rajinsan 6 years ago

      Nice artwork

    • sittonbull profile image

      sittonbull 6 years ago

      LOTD is a fitting tribute for this Thanksgiving Lens. I can see and hear in my mind's eye and ear all the Tate's gathered around the table! Hope you all had a good one this go 'round too! ;>)

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      Paula7928 6 years ago

      Great Lens! Love your artwork!

    • profile image

      Paula7928 6 years ago

      Great Lens! Love your artwork!

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 6 years ago

      Congratulations on getting LOTD. You certainly deserved it. Wonderful lens.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 6 years ago from USA

      If I could hit the like button more than once, I would do it here. A heart felt Happy Thanksgiving, and congratulations on a well deserved LOTD.

    • caketech profile image

      caketech 6 years ago

      I am in tears reading the prayer on your lens, because you see, today marks the 10th anniversary of my father's passing. He was taken home to be with his Savior on November 24, 2001. It is still hard for me as well at Thanksgiving. I miss him dearly, but I know he is in heaven. That gives me the hope that I will see him again one day. Thank you for sharing this beautiful is very special. Congrats on LOTD!

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      Joan4 6 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD for one of my favorite lenses ever!

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 6 years ago from Jackson, MS

      I'm so excited for you OhMe! Congrats on LOTD on Thanksgiving no less! I was inspired by this lens last year.... you're awesome!

    • profile image

      mrducksmrnot 6 years ago

      Thankful for this wonderful lens. Thank you. Especially liked Johnny Cash - Thanksgiving Prayer.

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      aquarian_insight 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens and I found it so touching. Bless you & your family. Congratulations for LoTD.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing.

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 6 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens. Thank you for sharing your story with us, I'm sorry for your loss and wishing you and your family all the best. And not to forget Congratulations on LOTD you are super!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Wow, this is such a beautiful story and the pics and things are wonderful. It makes me wish we had something similar to your Thanksgiving in Australia but our pioneers and pilgrims were mainly convicts and believe me we owe them a big debt as they developed the land and fought hard to keep up the standards that we now enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving and this is now featured on Squidoo LOTD Lenses. Hugs.

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 6 years ago from Omaha, NE

      Great Lens! Happy Thanksgiving to you and blessings too!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congrats on LOTD! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!! Gobble, gobble from Canada!

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      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Thanks for this beautiful lens! Blessed!

    • Judy Goldsberry profile image

      Judy Goldsberry 6 years ago

      congratulations, and Happy Thanksgiving.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 6 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Wow! This says it all. That prayer is beautiful, and wonderfully comforting. I lost both my parents in the summer of 2009, and my brother, (my only sibling) just a few months later in January, 2010. Thank you for this lens.

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      SofiaMann 6 years ago

      Happy Thanksgiving day and congrats on LOTD.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      Love the prayer and Johnny Cash song! Congrats on LOTD! Sorry for all your loss... Happy Thanksgiving! I blessed this lens and wish blessings to you and your family!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      So pleased to see this very deserving lens get Lens of the Day Nancy - Happy Thanksgiving :)

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      RobinDM 6 years ago

      Lovely! Thanks so much for sharing your family today!

    • BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 6 years ago

      This is a most wonderful Lens of the Day for this day. Thank You

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This was a beautiful lens. Many thanks.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wishing you and your family a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving. May all your lives be filled with much love, peace and gratitude not only today, but everyday. Congrats on LOTD! :)

    • SheilaVine LM profile image

      SheilaVine LM 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for this lovely lens

    • Rantsand profile image

      Rantsand 6 years ago

      A touching lens for the holiday. Thank you so much for sharing.

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      NidhiRajat 6 years ago

      wow...thanks to you for this amazing lens...

    • profile image

      NidhiRajat 6 years ago

      wow...thanks to you for this amazing lens...

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Certainly couldn't get through this lens with a dry eye - thank you so very much for sharing. Blessed by a SquidAngel, for this very deserving LotD.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      thanksgiving blessing to the enire world as a family...thank u sooooo much for sharing ur family prayer with us

    • Dee Gallemore profile image

      Dee Gallemore 6 years ago

      A Thanksgiving blessing . . . wonderful lens! And congrats on LOTD.

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      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      Oh this is just so beautiful and touching, so happy that this is Lens of the Day on Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing yourself. May God richly bless your Thanksgiving day.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 6 years ago from Central Florida

      A happy Thanksgiving to you! Thanks for sharing your family story and prayer of thanks to God.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 6 years ago from Northern California

      Thanksgiving blessings on a Thanksgiving favorite..

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Thanksgiving blessings to the entire Tate family. I truly appreciate your traditional prayer, Ohme. Thanks so much for sharing, and congratulations on your Lens of the Day!

    • rorymullen lm profile image

      rorymullen lm 6 years ago

      Good Job Nancy

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Yay Nancy!

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      Bahrns 6 years ago

      Great lens!!! You truly deserve to be the "Lens of the Day".... Keep up the good work!!!Material Handling

    • Lynne-Modranski profile image

      Lynne Modranski 6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for sharing! Have a tremendous Thanksgiving celebration! Congrats on LOTD!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 6 years ago

      Happy Thanksgiving Nancy and enjoy your special day.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderful!You know what else is?FREE MONEY!You can get free money now by signingup here! you ever want to stop, just stop logging in.It's that simple! I have $15.06 from this site!Try it out! If not then you can just stop!

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      Merstarr 6 years ago

      I feel like I know you after having read this and you are just wonderful inside out! Thank-you for sharing a bit of your happiness. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I hope your Thanksgiving is full of love and blessings. Great lens.

    • sidther lm profile image

      sidther lm 6 years ago

      This is such a wonderful lens! Congrats on LOTD and have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • SquidooMBA profile image

      SquidooMBA 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens and congrats on being LOTD! Happy Thanksgiving...

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful Thanksgiving page with memories of childhood and family traditions, a feast to the eyes.

    • nbrandt123 profile image

      nbrandt123 6 years ago

      Blessed your lens! Happy Thanksgiving!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Congrats for LOTD

    • profile image

      mumsgather 6 years ago

      You were only 10 when you did that wonderful drawing. Lovely.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

      This is a very touching lens. Thanks for opening a window into who you are an why you are you.

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      poutine 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this beautiful prayer and tradition.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      Nancy I love traditions, and this one in particular is special and full of deep meanings for me.Happy Thanksgiving with love, health and prosperity.

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 6 years ago

      Your love for your family shines through on this lens. Happy Thanksgiving.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      That was wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Martha

    • PastorSam LM profile image

      PastorSam LM 6 years ago

      Beautiful Lens - thanks for posting this.I am working on my thanksgiving message for this Sunday (11/20/2011)and this was inspiring.

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      gravityx9 6 years ago

      Lovely lens.......I love our family get togethers, but at Thanksgiving, it's just more special!

    • edah1308 profile image

      edah1308 6 years ago

      thank you so much for sharing your family with us, and for the sweet memories as well as the hard times that still cause us to be thankful.

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      jseven lm 6 years ago

      Whoops, it did win a purple heart, yay!!

    • profile image

      jseven lm 6 years ago

      So sorry for all of your losses, you will greatly rejoice together in heaven someday. :) I love this lens and hope it wins a purple heart.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      I am crying so first, so sorry for ALL your losses. I've lost 2 sisters and both parents, so I know how hard it is to express a lens as this. But thank you for a beautiful Thanksgiving poem and lens!

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 6 years ago

      I love lenses that are dedicated to family members. Thank you for sharing. :)

    • MsBrightside LM profile image

      MsBrightside LM 6 years ago

      Beautiful story -- thanks for sharing.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This is a very sweet lens, family memories are very important to keep alive, and this is so nicely done. It's wonderful to see three sisters as caring as you all are here on Squidoo, and you are all much loved by so many others here. Blessed, and Debbie and I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.