Thanksgiving 1992

Thanksgiving has always been a time for family and eatting together in someones home for us. I don't guess that I even had a clue before 1992 that people actually ate out at Thanksgiving. It almost sounded barbaric to impersonal and cold. But then again, I learned a whole lot of new things in 1992.

By the time Thanksgiving came around that year, my husband had been gone for a few weeks. At the time, he told me that things had just closed in on him and that he needed a few weeks to sort things out. I did not know that sorting things out meant that he was having to decide while dresser drawer his underwear went in at his girlfriend's house. Here I was with a 10 year old daughter and a newborn son and a knowledge in my heart that he would get himself together and be home soon. My Mom came to be with us that Thanksgiving week. My Dad had to work or he would have been there too. My Mom traveled from Clarendon Texas to Krum just to be with us (Krum is outside of Denton) at the, what we thought of then, as the most miserable time in our life. We had no clue that it could actually get worse.

During that time, I went and talked to my Pastor at the Denton Church of the Nazarene. A wonderful Church and Church family who loved me and held me close throughout those awful months. I asked the Pastor what to do? His words *Set a date and tell your husband to get his act together or, on that date, you will go to an attorney and file for divorce.*. I left his office thinking that my poor Pastor had no faith. I knew in my heart that God was going to heal my marriage and would the Pastor not be so surprised??? Now I realize that he was a man of great wisdom and was trying to prepare me.

Thanksgiving dawned bitterly cold and windy. Mom decided that we were going to have a nice Thanksgiving come hell or high water. None of us were really eatting much at that point and did not want to cook. I remember that Baby Gator was so pleased that we had one of those sandwich least she could have hot sandwiches!! I look back now and realize that I was very screwed up during that time. We put on dresses to try to make the occasion festive and off we go to eat Thanksgiving lunch at Shoneys....With about 1,000 other strangers. I was amazed that many people eat out on Thanksgiving. There were also people who were eatting as families so that they could go home and not have the mess. Truckers sitting alone at tables because they were traveling cross county and miles away from their familes. College students states away from their homes. Then there was us. We picked at our food. The coldness outside was actually warmer than the cold fear that we all felt in our hearts. I realize now that we all feared different things.

The thing that stood out that day....our one ray of sunshine on that horrible day....the waitress. She was constantly going back and forth between tables with a smile on her face. She acted happy to be there on that holiday. Happy that she was the one chosen to spend the day on her feet serving us. I know she must have had her own family at home that she wanted to be with. But she was with us. At the time, I do not remember being grateful. Now, looking back I am so very grateful for that woman. That day, she is what kept us hanging on for one more day. I wish that I had gotten her name. I would write the company and tell them what a valuable employee that they had. I did not do that. So, where ever you are today Shoney Waitress from 1992....please know that you did make a difference. You did more than you will ever know. And sweetie, I learned the lesson and I play foward your action all the time.


  1. I hope this Thanksgiving is much brighter!

  2. Oh Deb, thank you. All of my Thanksgivings since then have been so much brighter!

  3. Great story!!

    I always did like Shoney's...

  4. Mindy, that is so beautiful. And you do pay it forward. What a blessing then. My goodness, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. You know how I feel, Mindy. Blessed Thanksgiving.

  6. This is a great post, Mindy, and I love the shout-out to the waitress.
    Thanks for writing this!

  7. I know first hand that you have learned a great lesson. At least 5 days out of the week, I see your own smile abundantly over flowing with JOY! Thank you for such JOY that YOU bring into my life!

  8. Janet2:50 PM

    What a great post and so well written. Always amazed that our mocassins are so similiar same size, same style. It brought back the Thanksgiving eve when I was at the all time low point of my life that I went to church with my mother and heard a sermon on Psalm 34:1. We were challenged to understand the ALL in that verse and the following verses, something I need to be reminded of often. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. I love your Nazarene pastor and your Shoney's waitress. Also you!

  10. Oh Mom Gator, that blog made me cry. I remember that Thanksgiving, what a terrible one it was. But look how far we have come, and the wonderful things God has put in our lives. We don't need that sticky poophead and we never did.
    P.S. You should blog about last year at Golden Coral. That was funny!!!

  11. oh Mindy
    this is lovely, sad and beautiful too.

    I haven't known you long, but I've seen that God has brought you through this awful trial with a great love of Him, and an awareness of what He is doing in others.

    I value your friendship across the miles - and bless you in His mighty name. May he continue to use the lonliness and fear you felt that day, to release and free others from those same scary realities.

    oh and yeah BTW would love to hear ALL about the Golden Coral (that's babygator's idea!!! grin)

    be blessed :)
    I am so thankful to God for you - your blog and your generous sunny nature.

  12. Wonderful post! I wasn't that waitress at Shoney's of course, but I have been her. When I was a college student far, far away from home, I would pick up the holiday shifts just to be around people. It made me feel less lonely, and I hoped it made others less lonely as well.

  13. Wow - I know it had to be painful writing that post but it touched my heart! I know your turkey days ever since have been better - I hope! Bless you!!!!!!

  14. Your comments are all loved and appreciated. It has been a wonderful journey from that point. There are just certain stories that I need to tell. I just cannot tell them all at once. These stories are what has made me who I am.

    And ax....I knew I already liked you but now I like you that much more. Trust made a difference.

  15. Sorry to be late commenting on this wonderful post. It reminds me of one of my father's favorite sayings, that the way to be happy is to focus on others rather than yourself as this waitress clearly did. A reminder that we all need!
    Thanks for sharing this.

  16. Great post. Forget home--Shoney's is where if you have to go there, they have to take you in.

  17. Great post, Mindy. I'm glad that waitress graced your day, and even more glad that 13 years later you remember her.

    Happy Thanksgiving 2005! I'm grateful for you.


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