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Thanksgiving Prayer - A Family Tradition
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.
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
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?