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We give thanks for the daily gift of Warming and pray to remain open to its life-bestowing nurturance—Within it we thrive and share with others.

Happy Thanksgiving

Sweet are the memories: fading floral arrangements, cards listing against each other on the dining room table, gift-wrappings torn apart—Whitman’s Sampler and Linden’s light chocolates and slippers—serenades on email and voicemail, phone and Face Time visits, and all the in-between wishes for my eighty-fifth birthday last week. Neighbors even left a variegated assortment of gourds for my front porch to complement the pumpkin and potted Alberta spruce. But most significant was my sister Martha’s two-day visit.

Such affection left me surprised, grateful, but dizzy with exhaustion. I felt like the Velveteen Rabbit, its stuffing reconstituted through hugs, but still grinning.

So what happened through the bestowal of these gifts, unique, powerful, colorful, and aromatic? In my perception, each carried the signature of Higher Power, imprinting love-traces upon my old heart, still in need of healing; its wounds of disbelief still smart: I couldn’t be loved that much, so assails the Mutterer in my depths. A hangover since childhood, I’ve spent years learning otherwise, but its nastiness is still there.

Practicing the Twelve Steps of CPA helps diffuse Muttterer’s assaults—It recoils in the face of unconditional love. Yet, I can only tolerate brief exposures as much as I cherish them.

With the psalmist, I continually cry out: Create, O God, a clean heart within me. On my own, this is impossible.

I was famished. The bowl of sugar-and-raisin oatmeal in the convent dining room had supported my painful break with the nuns I had lived, as well as the long drive into the city, to the upholstered rental in a fourplex. It was May 1974.

My closets and dresser and cabinets already bore the mark of its new owner. Only the shelves in the kitchen lay bare. I needed everything. I would have to make a list of groceries and head over to Kroger’s. Not having been inside such a store in seventeen years added to my distress. The stool swayed beneath my weight as I grabbed pen and paper and recalled items that my mother used to keep in our kitchen when I was growing up. I would do likewise.

Such were the first of years of forays into supermarkets, each one stoking confidence in caring for my nutritional needs, despite the late start. Eventually, my grocery lists began to reveal patterns of entertaining others, as well, the result of sharing recipes and cookware. Working in my kitchen no longer set me on edge

Fast-forward to 1987 saw another significant change in my grocery list: no sugars, no wheat products, because of which I enjoyed more energy and less arthritic symptoms.

And still another in 1999: the Edgar A. Cayce diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis, one I still adhere to, with almost no joint inflammation.

But the most significant change of all occurred on September 17, 2020. As I prepared to make another grocery list at my kitchen counter, my helper recognized my weakened condition and took over.

A small change engulfing my present world, to be sure, but still significant—It smarts, bruises my ego…

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