A Thanksgiving I will always remember

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Bob Maxwell

Moderator Emeritus
Feb 1, 2005
Holbrook, Arizona
I wrote and sent this reflection Thanksgiving night and sent it to a few men that would understand. One of them asked me to share it with you.

* * * * * * * *

Some times in the providence of God, we notice the transitions and are thankful for the Presence in our lives and the love and companionship of those around us.

It?s a mild New Mexico sunset this evening, mostly low gray clouds with some interlacing of those Georgia O?Keefe salmon reds and purples and the violet in the gray hanging in the west over the mesas. Easterners think they were from her imagination. We see them so often that we almost get to where we take them for granted.

We were moving along in life having attended the Annual Faith Alive Board Meeting in August in Colorado with Bev and together making team meetings for Cursillo 101 North, then going down to Lincoln County to serve in the team so that the people of God would have their Eucharist on Sundays and working our 40 hour weeks so that we could help these ministries continue to happen.

In mid September, I took vacation time to attend the DRG Clergy Conference and to treat myself to a 24 Hour quiet retreat that we begin with and the fellowship of my brothers and sisters in Christ.  It was especially good to be with the Thursday movie gang and to be with Ken Semen+ again and, yes, Tom Woodward+. All these men have a pastor?s heart. Bp. Steenson was in excellent form!

And silently, while moving along feeling like a forty year old, something changed, even as I ignored the almost sixty five years that have passed.

I called home during clergy conference and Bev had come down with a respiratory infection. She said, ?Don?t worry, this will pass.? That was two months ago Monday.

After decades of Thanksgivings at Mom?s, or in church fellowship halls, the motorhome or with a houseful in rectory, vicarage or rental houses, three of the last six have been in our very own home. And Bev presided in her kitchen. Oh, at times I made stuffing or the yams and always carved the big turkey she basted, after watching the Cowboys or Detroit Lions with sons, son in law and grandkids. Thanksgivings were so good, so traditional.

The past two months my beloved's health has deteriorated into one of such intense pain, pain that only a mother that has been through a natural child birth would understand the sound of her screams.

Every week she struggled into work for two, three or four days as her work is the ministry she was called to ten years ago, five years before Faith Alive moved their office to New Mexico and God brought us back from my working sabbatical. She so loves this ministry of her Lord Jesus, her Friend who has walked with her since her childhood and He called her, prepared her and led her to it.

Sunday, I placed a lawn chair in the tub and helped her painfully maneuver into and take her shower, her intense pain could be felt in the screams that racked her body these last ten days and meds have only started to cut her pain. I made the trips to Wal*Mart and the pharmacy, fed the chickens and kept the house going as our pulis and cats kept watch on her bed.

Today, I cooked and carved the turkey breast, whipped the instant gravy added to the turkey drippings and then stirred the instant mashed potatoes. She stood by me and supervised the latter as she so loves her mashed potatoes and turkey gravy! Today she could stand. How glorious a gift!

The smile in her eyes across the table as we looked at what our Lord had set before us and then her leading as we prayed in thanks for our family, our friends and the ministry He?s given to us to share with Him, these eyes, these words brought such joy to my heart. 

I don?t feel old, yet a transition happened this Thanksgiving that I didn?t see coming. It was a providential gift. Each day with her is now so much more precious, thanks to the gift of serving her. I hope we have years before this happens again, but the joy in her eyes at the table where He was with us made it the Thanksgiving I will never forget.

Betty Brewer

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 10, 2005

Thank you so much for those words that remind us  what  really is important.  I have stopped to reflect......... amidst my life .  Thank you for sharing the story and it's lessons.



Well-known member
Mar 7, 2005

We tend to forget what is really important so thanks for sharing that wonderful message.


Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
wherever we are parked

I am glad she is standing now and that is indeed a precious gift.

I experienced a similar awakening a few years ago when my Admiral worked and suffered her way through very serious lung cancer.  I too am 65 and the world seems to be racing by faster each day.  This is what steers our life these days, and why we are taking the time to meet people like the ones we find here, and travel to see places while we are still able to do so.  I know that time will be limited and precious for us.

Those New Mexico skies are precious and we hope we get to see them a few more times before the light is turned out.

God be with you and your Admiral.


Just Lou

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2005

We pray that Bev's health has continued to improve.

Thanks for sharing and reminding us of God's many blessings.


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