SO Thankful Replay…Day 24

Thanksgiving is almost here! Can’t believe how fast this month has gone. When Jose & I were in the states packing for the boat – we brought back in with us a Honey Baked Ham & a turkey! Our family, Miss Beth, Susan, & Erica will be together for our Thanksgiving Meal.

We will also host another BIG THANKSGIVING with all the staff on December 22nd. Since Thanksgiving isn’t really celebrated in Haiti – having our big meal closer to Christmas is preferred.

WOW….as I was reading through this blog – I noticed where I wrote we were at the Thanksgiving parade and would be having a big meal with Jose’s family. My heart just sank. It was no coincidence that we chose to go to NYC for Thanksgiving that year. It would be our last big meal with Jose’s sister before she passed away very suddenly with cancer.

I know this year there will be empty chairs around the table for many of my friends and family. This is our first year without Uncle Billy. My mom always managed to sneak over to their house to sample some of their food and many times they had Thanksgiving with Uncle Billy & all his family.

There is a family from our area – I didn’t know them very well – but their little daughter was diagnosed with cancer at 18 months old …..and she just passed away at the age of 3. I cannot imagine…..I cannot even wrap my head around what this family is facing as they head into the holiday season. And yet I know they’re just one of many who have lost someone they loved dearly.

This is why I’m so thankful for Thanksgiving. I’m thankful that people make the time to connect with their families. Sometimes it’s the only day that families can come together. And sadly – you never know if it will be the last time that everyone will be there.

So as you set the table this year – as you slave away in the kitchen – as you prepare yourself for all the drama  the family reunion may bring – EMBRACE IT! LOVE IT! SOP IT UP WITH A BISCUIT!

Hold onto it and all the drama & the memories it brings. I know I am so thankful for the Thanksgiving meal we were able to have with Jose’s family & I will always hold it close in my heart.

So today I’m thankful for Thanksgiving – for the way it brings everyone together –  for the laughter, love, & often craziness that surrounds this day.

Jody Owen Castillo
November 24, 2011 · Twitter ·
Santa just passed! Parade is now over! Now we head to Nora’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and to see the babies!


Nora sure knew how to set a beautiful table! We had chicken, duck, & turkey! Though this table now has an empty chair – she is not far from our hearts.


SO Thankful…Day 24

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is finally here! This has always been one of my favorite holidays!

Before moving to Haiti –  all the family and our spouses would gather together at my parents’  house. Lori and momma would spend all day cooking on Wednesday! I would wake up Thursday to the smell of Hot Apple Tarts for breakfast – MY FAVORITE!! The feast was normally served at 1pm. We would each go around the table and talk about the things we were thankful for. By the time we got around to everyone – we were all crying! The blessings were just too great to hold it all in!

We ate until we could no longer breathe – which is often the problem of being an Owen!! LOL! Afterwards – the family would play cards and tease of each other!! Yes  – we couldn’t call it a holiday until we teased each other enough to make someone mad! It’s a tradition! That person was normally Bud by the way! 🙂

Before we moved to the Mole we spent the last 5 years having Thanksgiving in St. Louis du Nord! We would invite around 30 of our closest Haitian friends and feast together! I loved to decorate the table with special glasses and candles. Something I knew they would never get to use anywhere else. Everyone would come dressed up! The food felt endless. Everyone got to eat and eat! We too went around the table and said what we were thankful for.

I will never forget the year Mme Selony’s husband died. It was about 10 days before Thanksgiving. She stood up and said she was thankful for the time God had given her with him. I’m not sure I would have been so strong. My dad said God gives us a certain peace in times of trouble – and He had wrapped His arms around Mme Selony.

Today the family is going downtown NYC to the Thanksgiving Parade! Yes we are crazy! Then our family will sit together with Jose’s family and enjoy a feast and fellowship! Isn’t it amazing how a holiday can bring families together – – that might not otherwise find the time?

I have friends who are flying thousands of miles to spend time with their family. There are others who are driving hundreds of miles to unite with friends and family. I LOVE THAT! I love how we sacrifice our time and energy to come together on Thanksgiving!

So today I am thankful for Thanksgiving!

For a day that brings families together and forces us to think about the blessings in our lives!

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