Memories of a generous stranger give me hope year after year


Editor’s note:This column was originally published in 2019.

My mother and my mother-in-law have a lot in common. Both are creative, hard-working, and love to ask all of us around the Thanksgiving table what we’re grateful for.

No matter where we lived or what our circumstances were, my mother always made sure we recognized the importance of the Thanksgiving message. Even as I slid into my seat as an angsty teenager, she made me answer her question, “Why are you grateful this year?”

Some years I complained. Some years I would beam at the table and recount a year of good grades, success at work, or a project I was proud of.

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