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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Makes Thanksgiving Special


Yes, this may be a flower break day; a time to hit the pause button before this festive holiday. And for those that frequent here regularly, an everyday part of this blog is a quote wrapped into the garden or design message; whatever it may be. But in my endless search for quotes, this Thich Nhat Hanh quote stuck with me. It reminded me of a Thanksgiving tradition started four years ago by a local church and a courageous family.

“Every one of us needs a home. The world needs a home. There are so many young people who are homeless. They may have a building to live in, but they are homeless in their hearts. That is why the most important practice of our time is to give each person a home.”

So before Thanksgiving, which signifies home and family, let’s recognize folks like Elaine and Kevin Jones. For the past four years with the local Bread of Life Church, a thanksgiving feast is prepared and served to veterans and those in need. Regardless of your faith or religion, this event is to celebrate and honor their son lost in combat five years ago through the Ryan Patrick Jones ‘Heart of a Hero’ foundation. 

We are always honored to be guests of Kevin and Elaine. But what amazes me most, despite what they have lost, their only child, they continue to build this concept of home through their generous hearts and gifts. The church members prepare and cook for five days in advance, while Elaine has Kevin driving to the western part of the state in search of fresh vegetables for the table. Then as a team, the church and the Jones welcome and honor all those that have served. In their hearts, it is never homeless.

So when you are with your family celebrating this Thanksgiving, take pause to be thankful, be grateful. Do not build just a place to live in. Truly give of your heart. Because as Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us ‘the world needs a home, every one of us needs a home.’ Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Top Image by Ann Bilowz

Bottom Image of 1st Lt. Ryan Patrick Jones

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)