Giving Thanks for Surprise Visitors

Surprise visitors brighten a great grandmother's Thanksgiving celebration.

- Posted on Oct 16, 2012

A Thanksgiving turkey with side dishes

Mama always hosted Thanksgiving dinner. But at 92 she finally allowed me to help with the cooking. I gave the ham one last basting.

Ever since we children had grown up and started families of our own, Mama had opened her doors all day long. Everyone was welcome. People came and went throughout the day, stopping in at Mama’s buffet.

Trouble was, each year the number of guests seemed to get smaller. Ham, green beans, rolls, potatoes, chocolate pie—we’d have enough food to feed an army. Yet I didn’t know if a single person besides Mama and me would be eating it. Everyone in the family had other commitments.

We’ll be eating leftovers for weeks, I thought as I pulled the ham from the oven. But I couldn’t bear to disappoint her.

Two pies cooled on the counter. Mama, wearing her best dress, sat in the living room, watching the door. “People have usually arrived by now,” she called to me in the kitchen. I leaned against the refrigerator and closed my eyes. “Lord, please send someone to eat this dinner with us. Amen.”

“I’ll get the china,” I said. That won’t bring people to the door. But before I could start, there was a knock. Mama’s eyes followed me as I went to answer it.

“Surprise!” My two granddaughters filed in and put my three-month-old grandbaby, Ada, in Mama’s arms. “We changed our plans at the last minute,” they said. “Have you eaten?”

Mama smiled big and I gave thanks for all God had given us.


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