A Second Thanksgiving

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“A Second Thanksgiving,” Friend, Nov. 2010, 36–37

A Second Thanksgiving

Father, turn thine ear to me; let me offer thanks to thee for thy wise and tender care of thy children ev’rywhere (Hymns, no. 306).

Aaron watched the snowy scenery whiz by the car window. His family was returning home after spending Thanksgiving with their grandparents and cousins. Soon he fell asleep in the backseat, along with his two sisters.

Suddenly the car swerved, and Aaron jerked awake. The car rolled over once and then came to a stop with a jolt.

“What happened?” Aaron asked.

“I fell asleep at the wheel,” Dad said in a shaky voice. He reached out to touch Mom’s cheek. “Are you all right?”

Mom nodded and turned to look at Aaron and his sisters.

“We’re all right, Mom,” Aaron said. He was grateful his parents always insisted that everyone wear seat belts and that Kaitlyn was in her car seat.

Nicole reached for his hand. Aaron squeezed her hand in return.

The family sat huddled in the car, waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

When the paramedics arrived, they examined everyone. “It’s a miracle that your family came through alive,” one of the paramedics said.

“It is a miracle,” Mom said.

The ambulance took Aaron’s family to the nearest hospital. Mom got six stitches on her cheek, but no one else needed treatment.

Then they took their car to a service station to have it checked out. The car was safe to drive, so Aaron’s family resumed their trip. When they finally got home, it was just before midnight. Everyone felt tired and shaken.

“There is something we need to do,” Mom said.

They all knelt on the living room floor. Dad paused a few moments. Then he began, “Father, we come to thee in thanksgiving.”

After the prayer, everyone remained on their knees. Then Mom got up and headed to the kitchen. “I think we all need something to eat,” she said. She pulled meat and bread from the refrigerator and started making sandwiches.

Aaron thought it was funny that they were having dinner at midnight. Then he realized they hadn’t eaten anything since lunch. “Is this like a second Thanksgiving?” he asked.

Dad smiled for the first time since the accident. “That’s right, Aaron. We have more than usual to thank Heavenly Father for.”

Illustrations by Craig Stapley