In 1621, the Pilgrims, Puritans, and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the American colonies. After that initial celebration, for more than two hundred years, thanksgiving days were celebrated separately by individual colonies and states. Thanksgiving was first celebrated on the same date by all states in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln’s presidential proclamation.
Lincoln’s aim appears to have been to reunify the Northern and Southern states in the wake of the Civil War. I feel that our country has been through another civil war of sorts in the past couple of decades.
Perhaps we need to reflect on all the ways in which we have been blessed.
I have been virtually absent for many weeks on this blog, Beyond Austen, and social media. My sister, Gayle, was diagnosed with cancer in early summer. She has had three months of treatments, sickness, and pain. Last week, she underwent a scan to see whether or not the treatment was working. Frankly, her doctors didn’t give her much hope. Had the scan revealed the cancer had spread, or had not been significantly reduced in her lymph system and colon, they were ready to advise her to discontinue treatment and enjoy the time she had left on this earth. She is strong. I am not. I was not in any way ready to face a world which my sister had left. Selfish, I know.
However, God is good, and He answers prayer. Thousands of prayers were offered on her behalf. Her students and fellow teachers supported her. Our church loved her through the process. Our family prayed continuously.
A few days ago, she received good news for a change. The results of the scan showed not the cancer had spread, but that it was all gone. All of it. None in her colon, lymph system, or liver. She is the first survivor of this type of cancer in stage 4. Only ten cases of it have been reported since the 1920’s. There was no treatment protocol, so her team of doctors established one.
Gayle will likely have another chemo treatment and radiation to be on the safe side, but she will bear it with grace, beauty, and dignity, just as she has borne everything else in her sixty-six years.
Gayle is a person who makes the world a better place by living in it. We are very blessed to have her with us for however many more years the Lord sees fit to leave her here.
We all have much for which to be thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Jane Started It.