Throughout this holiday week, I will share stories of Thanksgiving from radio listeners across the country. If you have a story to share or one of these stories moves you please leave a comment below.  I read them.

From California:

My husband I were married in January of 1971. So Thanksgiving time comes around and we decide we will invite the family for Thanksgiving. My brother and his family came from southern ca and joined us in northern ca. My mother lived with my husband and I so gave her a chance to see my brother and his family. The only thing was my brother (older than me) was bugging me about when the turkey would be done. He kept asking is we were having turkey jerky. To this day 40 plus years still pops into my head at this time of the year. No big story but just a memory.

Char Fortner, California

From California:

Some of favorite Thanksgivings were spent in Death Valley, CA. We would take our boys, camp in a tent. I always made the turkey and all the goodies. m the weather is usually perfect at this time of the year. Last year our oldest son called in October and said that he wanted to bring his family to Death Valley and he wanted to camp in the same campground, campsite. We were able to do that and I cooked dinner and had a great time.

Jewel Warfield, California

From Virginia:

I was raised by my grandparents. 2 of the most loving people who ever lived. Every year we had a huge family dinner at our home. And from the time I could help, I would stand at the counter and help make breads, pie shells, pies, and the stuffing. Now, I am passing that tradition along to my children. My daughter who is only 6 asked me just yesterday why it is so important to me that we cook together. So I told her that it was something I did with my "Gram". She took my hand and said "Momma someday we will cook with your Gram together". Traditions and family are all we really have in this world. I am proud my children see that.

Melissa Mckee, Virginia

From Michigan:

I love Thanksgiving because it's a time that reminds us of no matter what's going on in the world we are so fortunate to live in this wonderful country and I am so thankful for it. But most of all I am thankful that all my family will be together: my three children, children-law, and my 7 beautiful grandchildren. I don't know what more anyone could ask for.

Lynne Hummel, Michigan

From Missouri:

I believe this year will be our best Thanksgiving ever. God chose to put us through the ringer this year and even though we had so many difficulties, we are still very blessed and have so much to be thankful for.

Our year began as a bittersweet year. Our oldest son is a 1LT in the Army and we knew that his unit would be going to Afghanistan some time this year. So, once he found out that it would be in April of this year, he and his fiancée got married last December 28th. What a joyous time that was!! That was the sweet part! Once the new year rang in, it wasn't long until my husband got the phone call he had been waiting for - news of a brand new job offer with the Veterans Administration - and this job would take us to Amarillo, Texas. He gave his notice at his job and at our church where he was serving as a part-time minister of music and we began to mentally prepare for the move and for a new chapter in our lives. One day before he was to leave for training - our daughter was hit head on by a drunk driver going the wrong way on the interstate. It is only by God's grace that she survived. Both legs were broken, a wrist was cracked, and she had internal injuries. My husband still went on to his new job - and has lived in Amarillo since February, coming home as often as he can. I have been with my daughter the entire time - her constant caretaker. Praise the Lord, she is walking - still having difficulty with stubborn bones that don't want to heal, but she is alive and walking and getting better.

Our house has been on the market since April and we are still waiting on the Lord to bring just the right family to buy it - then, we can finally make our move to Amarillo and be a family again.

So - this year - even though we have had challenges - we have so much to be thankful for. We are also looking for our son to be home from Afghanistan in a few weeks. We know God is sovereign and in control - and all He does is for our good.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Jamie Hitt, Missouri

From California:

We live in the San Diego area. Most of our extended family members live far away. My husband’s mother lived across the street and my mother lived with us. Every year my husband and I and our three children have only had their grandmothers to share all the holidays with. About 10 years ago we were blessed to have a few relatives come for Thanksgiving. But the real treat was a program that allowed a soldier to come spend Thanksgiving with us. Actually we got two guys, friends who were on the same Naval ship. Both of the boys were named Mike. We had to pick them up and drop them back off at the base. I thought that they would probably want to get back to the base after dinner. Not so. They were so comfortable and stayed till almost midnight. They were the most gracious, kind, sweet boys and they blessed everyone at our table. Sweet back-east accents, they loved to laugh, had many stories, and were great eaters. We had decided to eat outside on our deck because it accommodated 17 people--but the weather changed and it was cold and windy.

But that year we barely noticed the cold or wind because we all had a sense that someone special was at our table. Two kids, far away from home, missing their families and being shipped out to sea in a few weeks for a long period. I ached for them to be away from their "mom's" at this time. It was the most wonderful memory we will never forget. One of the boys came one more time for dinner and movie and again, we picked him up and brought him back. The next day he was leaving on his ship and it was an emotional time for all of us. I felt like I was dropping off my son. I ended up at some point talking to his mother and, as I would be so grateful for someone showing love to my children, she was thankful for the time we spent together. If you get a chance to get a soldier, make sure you do. You'll make a memory you will always be grateful for and it will make such a difference in a soldiers life.

Sissi Brackney, California

From Texas:

It was Thanksgiving 1944. I was 10 yrs. old. My mother was in the hospital due to a major car wreck that she barely survived. My father, who had moved out, moved back home supposedly to see about me along with my siblings. My brother 12 - myself 10 and my sister were missing our mother a lot so it added to our being lonely when our father announced he would be gone all day that day but said we could cook ourselves a package of wieners for our Thanksgiving dinner. After he left, there was a knock at our door. Much to our surprise, several ladies from our church was there with a lot of food - turkey - all the trimmings. They said the Lord had impressed it upon them to come to our house. Nobody had told them about our lonely situation except one person did - the Lord Jesus. It gave us one of the most memorial Thanksgiving we could ever have hoped for.

Betty Thomas, Texas

Comments 1-5 of 9

  • Bonnie Williams

    11/22/2012 10:50 AM

    I can relate to the woman who said she's been put through the ringer this year. It's been tough here too; Although my husband is thankfully still employed, I have given up after more than a year of searching. My mother died this past March and the cousin I was closest to died suddenly in July; she was only 55. But, even so, I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads, plenty of food (none of which was purchased with food stamps!), and knowing that the greatest prize of all will be ours someday: seeing our Savior and all our loved ones who have gone before. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • Drew Davey

    11/22/2012 09:26 AM

    My family and I moved to Arizona from Canada twenty one years ago, so we are often “doubly blessed” by being able to travel ‘home’ for a Canadian Thanksgiving in early October and then celebrating here again at the end of November. Regardless of the country we realize that the intangible things of love and family supersede the material and are what truly sustain us.

    This is the third Thanksgiving since my mother went to organize heaven in preparation for the rest of us (you would have had to her to fully understand) and my children still comment on how I can't make the meal just the way Granny did. We all know that is not criticism but, instead, a memory of someone for whom we all give thanks to God.

    One day my grandchildren will say to my daughters, “that's not the way Grandrew would have done it” and everyone will smile and at the memory—one that, I hope, will be repeated for more generations to come.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Paulaboutlife

    11/22/2012 09:23 AM

    I'm Italian with lots of brothers & sisters & the biggest Thanksgiving memory for me will always be all the food my Mama would make...antipasta, turkey of course and ham if you didn't like turkey, and roast beef and gravy if you didn't like the others and ravioli and "sfinges" (dough with sugar...with an extra set with sardines just for my father) and mashed potatoes and veggies (yuck), piles of every kind of cookie you can think of and my fav...chocolate pudding pie!

  • cheryl

    11/22/2012 08:45 AM

    as i sit here, takin a break from my cooking, tears are streaming, wonderful stories, awesome examples of what thanksgiving, really, evryday tho, should be about, christlike love,thank all for sharing, be blessed, and be a blessing, Happy Thanksgiving All!!!!!

  • Ann Allen

    11/22/2012 08:33 AM

    I can remember Thanksgivings in the 1960's when my grandfather showed up with his white pressed shirt and 3 piece suit. The girls were expected to be wearing a dress. My grandfather would always bring Cold Duck to have a toast before dinner. My mother who couldn't handle much liquor would have one glass and dad would have to go out to the kitchen and help her whip the potatoes and make the gravy cause she would get tipsy. Those traditional holidays were the foundation to a conservative value lifestyle through my whole life and which I am thankful.

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