Thank you for babies who become kids in college
and turn in final papers and
shine in visible brightness.
Bless the next wave of your people.
We thank for you for
the memory of loved ones
gone on to glory.
The funeral flowers have wilted.
The hymns quieted down.
For all those who notice an absence
at the table, comfort them.
We thank you for this feast and
all the people who brought it to us:
the turkey farmers who dedicate
all their days to the care of the birds
and the turkey farmers’ daughters who
have to be understanding about
their fathers never taking a vacation
because farming is an everyday job.
We thank you for all your creatures,
horses who only ask for water and dried grass,
dogs who nap at our sides and
appreciate scraps from the table.
A walk is ever new to them,
always cause for celebration.
They show us the reason for joy
can be simple.
We remember the ones without hope
and pray for their salvation.
The agonized, the lonely, the lost.
Let them know it’s not too late to remember
Bless the ones who suffer,
who have come out of surgery
and need your healing.
Ease their pain.
Bless the ones who wait in the hospital,
who don’t know what will happen,
who know they should pray but
find themselves worrying when the lights
go down and the corridors go quiet.
Even with all the medical machines,
it can be so quiet.
Lord, let them hear you.
Bless the wives who witness their husbands decline,
the bodies once the height of strength become
frail. The men never imagined their tree-climbing days would end.
They want to stand straight but their spines bend as hooks do.
When did I become old? they wonder. When did gravity win?
The wives soldier on with patience and bring cups of water.
They smile with determination as they accept good wishes.
They make the best of it.
They don’t let themselves fall apart.
Keep them together; help them travel
a difficult road.
Bless the daughter who visits her mother,
but her mother cannot speak.
Her mother doesn’t remember.
Her mother can no longer walk.
Her gardening and laughter are over.
Her mind has bleached into one long snowy landscape,
details covered over;
white stillness stretches from now until
the end of her days.
The brave daughter holds her mother’s thin hand,
warming it between her palms,
giving it a squeeze.
It has to be enough.
Please give your blessing to
the mothers who have forgotten and
the daughters who have not.
We praise you,
not because our lives are easy,
not just for obvious blessings,
but for air to breathe and
another day of life.
This is the day to