By Linda Cashdollar
Special to The Citizen
In 1621, following a very difficult first year in the “New World”, the Pilgrims were thankful for an abundant fall harvest. With the help from Patuxet Native Americans, the Pilgrims had learned how to plant, hunt and harvest the enormous bounty that was available in the New England area, and remembering the past year full of illness and starvation, Pilgrims gathered together with the Indians to feast and worship.
The Pilgrims understood that thankfulness opened the door to continued prosperity and they spent many hours each week in worship. That first Thanksgiving was an extended feast focused on thankfulness.
Today, Thanksgiving is traditionally a day set aside to celebrate family. The focus on “giving thanks for how bountiful our lives are” will often take a backseat to family gathered around a table laden with turkey, stuffing, mounds of potatoes, copious vegetables and side dishes, followed by numerous heavy desserts.
With today’s economic environment, many families are returning to an earlier time in our history when gratefulness for everyday gifts was the heart of the Thanksgiving celebration. As we gather together to express our thankfulness, we reflect on what we have, not what is missing.
Each day we are given the opportunity to reflect on our thankfulness, on the gifts given to us and on the gifts we have to share with others. This ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ is by divine intention and provides us with a constant renewal of faith.
Many famous people have shared with the world their views on being thankful; Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”
Kahlil Gibran penned, “Your friend is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.”
Edward Sandford Martin said, “Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”
Anne Frank wrote in her diary, “I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without you and be happy.”
At Heritage of Peachtree Assisted Living, we are very appreciative for all that we have. Besides a wonderful place to live, there is delicious food every day, a loving group of people that care about each other and many interesting activities to fill each day.
Heritage of Peachtree residents are special people and value the opportunities presented each day.
Appreciation for life and love of mankind is very apparent throughout the Heritage community. In the following excerpt, a handful of Heritage residents share their views on thankfulness:
Helen Keyes: “I am grateful for living and loving on God’s green earth!”
Virginia Bell: “I am thankful for my family and friends and the Heritage. This is really a good place to be if you can’t be home.”
Rebecca Carey: “I am grateful for God’s love and His taking care of me for ninety-four good years. I am thankful for my loving family, especially my precious daughters, Lane and Beth. I am grateful for a place like Heritage that meets my needs and for the staff and care givers. I am grateful for friends who have been a special part of my life. I am grateful for my three grandsons—from babies to fine young men. I am thankful for many blessings. I am thankful I live in America!”
Rose McIntyre: “I am thankful to be on two feet, and for my family.”
Ruth Baxter: “I am thankful for coming to Heritage. I left my home and came here to live. This is the best place for me, everyone is kind and we have so many things to do. There’s never a dull moment. Love and Best Wishes to All.”
Helen Steele: “I am grateful for everyone here at Heritage–the food and family and friends.”
Elizabeth Steckel: “I’m thankful for my lovely life, happy childhood, traveling, loving family and friends. I am truly thankful for being an American, living in the USA, with our freedoms and abundances.”
Lind Hemphill: “I’m thankful for church and education.”
Edna Ott: “I’m grateful for my family, my daughter and son, seven grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren. Living here has been good, everyone has been very kind to me.”
Cleo Bartoletti: “Now that I am what is called a ‘senior citizen’ there are many things to be thankful for. Thank God for a long, happy life. Children, grandchildren, now great-grandchildren to enjoy. Having to have extra care and live in assisted living is a great change, however where I am is so wonderful in every way, I am so very thankful.”
Jessie Svensson: “I am grateful that I was born in a generation that has extended care and assisted living, computers, TV, hearings aids and much advanced cataract surgery.”
Heritage of Peachtree Independent and Assisted Living has been serving Fayette County since 1995. The Heritage of Peachtree family would like to wish everyone peace, prosperity and joyful happiness.