MY FIRST THANKSGIVING IN MY HABITAT HOME

“It makes me cry thinking about how important that day was to me for so many reasons…

I received the keys to my house in February so the holidays had just passed. I was adjusting to the dream and comfort of having my own home. It was a normal shopping trip in early November when I became so overwhelmed standing in front of a big freezer of frozen turkeys at Winco that the reality that I was buying a turkey to cook for my family for the first time in 7 years. I went home and called my kids with such emotion and enthusiasm telling them how excited I was about having Thanksgiving in my new home. I was going to cook turkey and stuffing and bake pies and breads like I used to. Greg came from Portland with his wife and my granddaughter Lyla, Nick and his girlfriend were here and Katie and her roommate and Andy. It was a blessing to have all of my children together for Thanksgiving. We had a tradition of going around the table and saying what we were thankful for when the kids were growing up but during those 7 years I felt so defeated by everything I had been through. Not only did I not have the ability to cook or share a meal with my family but finding things to be thankful for was also lost. That first Thanksgiving in my home, having my children, my granddaughter, the laughter, the love around that table was one of the most cherished days of my life. I was home, my family was home and sharing that meal together somehow erased those 7 years. It was for me the healing of the past and hope for a future I never thought would happen. I am forever grateful for the blessings I shared with my family that wonderful Thanksgiving and every single day since.”

Mary Shippen

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