What We Are Thankful For This Thanksgiving

001 24

Carol and I love family traditions and the meaning and purpose they add to our lives. One of our favorite Thanksgiving Day traditions is to go around the table allowing each family member or guest a chance to share what has happened in their life over the last year that they are grateful for. This year proves to be a challenge beyond anything we have ever experienced as we grieve the earthly loss of our precious Christina. Each person in our family grieves her passing in a different way and feels her absence in a manner very specific to the relationship which they shared.

Christina loved this time of the year with a passion: the cooking,  playing games, walking to the park to play ball and overall engaging in what her and I would frequently refer to as “a celebration of life.” We continue with this celebration by being grateful to God for the gift of her life and the profound impact she has had and continues to have on each of us. We are grateful that Christina’s spirit lives on and that our relationship with her has not died. Her story continues through each of us as we celebrate God’s gift of life by embracing the spirit and enthusiasm with which Christina lived it.

 As we approach the holiday season, I am reminded and encouraged by the words from one of my favorite authors, Ziz Ziglar in his book “Confessions of a Grieving Christian” as he wrote about the loss of his own daughter. I have paraphrased the words to fit our family.

“And then the thought comes of Christina’s absence from our family get togethers: I realize that  Christina is not missing; she is merely absent.
To be absent means not to be present in a particular moment or setting. To be missing means that nobody knows where you are. We know where Christina is! She is not missing, only absent from us temporarily. The greater truth—and certainly the more wonderful and comforting truth—is that we will be with her one day and all of us will worship our Lord eternally together in heaven.
This separation is only temporary. It is only an absence. Our future speaks of togetherness, love, and unspeakable joy.”

We are comforted by the realization that our separation is only for a time.

One of the many passions that Christina and I shared was photography and the following photos are some of our Thanksgivng Day favorites that remind us to continue celebrating the life God has given us.

001 1

Thanksgiving 2001′ Our craft tradition of little thanksgiving houses

001 2

Thanksgiving 2001

Thanksgiving 2005 Crafts

Thanksgiving 2005 Crafts

001 3

Thanksgiving 2005

001 4

Thanksgiving 2005 Frisbee throwing

001 5

Thanksgiving 2006 Carols famous (and my favorite) Apple praline pie

001 6

Thanksgiving 2006

001 7

Thanksgiving 2006

001 8

Thanksgiving 2007

001 9

Thanksgiving 2008 Christina always helped me carve the Turkey

001 10

Thanksgiving 2008

001 11

Thanksgiving 2008 Watching William Bradford video… a longtime favorite 🙂

001 12

Thanksgiving 2008 Photo’s in the park by our house

001 13

Thanksgiving 2008 working off the turkey

001 14

Thanksgiving 2008

001 16

Thanksgiving 2009

001 17

Thanksgiving 2009 Little thanksgiving craft homes

001 18

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksliving Tradition

Thanks Living Tradition

001 20

Thanksgiving 2010

001 21

Thanksgiving 2010

001 22

Thanksgiving 2010

001 23

Thanksgiving 2011 Matthew being a little impatient

001 25

Thanksgiving 2011 Christina and Tessa setting out the food

001 27

Thanksgiving 2011 Christina setting out her special sweet potato recipe

001 26

Thanksgiving 2011 Carol, Christina and Tessa

001 28

Thanksgiving 2011 walk to the park

001 29

Thanksgiving 2011 Gametime

001 31

Thanksgiving 2011 we didn’t coordinate our serious pose very well 🙂

001 32

Marshall and Christina Thanksgiving 2011 in the park

001 30

Thanksgiving 2011 Jacob and Matthew getting serious

001 33

Thanksgiving 2011 Marshall and Tessa”s house

001 35

Thanksgiving 2011

001 36

Thanksgiving 2011 Cooking on Henderson

001 38

Thanksgiving 2011 Marshall and Christina cooking on Henderson

Christinas decoration

Thanksgiving 2011 Christina’s decorations

001 39

Thanksgiving 2012 Marshall cooking his wonderful corn chowder

001 40

Thanksgiving 2012 Christina, Carissa, Marshall and Matthew

001 41

Thanksgiving 2012 Christina

001 42

Thanksgiving 2012

001 43

Thanksgiving 2012

001 44

Thanksgiving 2012 slot car action

001 45

Thanksgiving 2012 Jack and Katie Grace

001 46

Thanksgiving 2012 heading to the park for the game

001 47

Thanksgiving 2012

001 48

Thanksgiving 2012

001 49

Thanksgiving 2012 Carol and Christina going head to head 🙂

001 50

Thanksgiving 2012 Marshall scoring big

001 51

Thanksgiving 2012 Carissa’s big completion

001 52

Thanksgiving 2012 family photo

  • cynthia ware
    Posted at 21:39h, 27 November Reply

    The photos and narrative are so wonderful I can not find words to express! Wonderful reflections and memories!

  • Dannette Hain
    Posted at 21:40h, 27 November Reply

    Great memories and a tribute to the daughter that certainly is not “missing”. Thanks for sharing this!


  • Deborah Pearle
    Posted at 00:01h, 28 November Reply

    Beautiful photography and lovely writing. I agree with Dannette…Christina is truly not “missing…” and hopefully the reunion will be soon. Grateful you shared. We love you! We pray for you.

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 00:18h, 28 November Reply

    happy thanksgiving

  • Billy Caldwell
    Posted at 10:59h, 28 November Reply

    Hello Ronnie & Carol,   Thank you for this wonderful Thanksgiving gift of your Thanksgiving memories.  We enjoyed it very much.   Happy Thanksgiving!   Love, Billy & Carolyn


  • Linda Dunn
    Posted at 15:41h, 28 November Reply

    What a sweet and precious family and so many treasured memories! So thankful, Ronnie, that you realized the value of photos over the years as it is the best way for us to remember Christina’s vibrant personality. Linda

  • mjre
    Posted at 19:22h, 29 November Reply

    We are thankful this Thanksgiving for FRIENDS like you who honor and glorify God IN ALL THINGS! Thank you for being the example that you and yours have been to us as you have all forged forward in faith through this very difficult time. You will never know how many lives it has impacted…especially mine. To God be the Glory…and may He bless you all as faithful followers of His forever more. Much love, Mary Jane


Post A Comment