This year, one of my highlights has been moving my father from Arizona back to Noblesville, into my home. He has been kinda sorta MIA for about forty years. During that forty-year span, we have kept in touch, with emails, occasional phone calls, and visits now and then. We have missed each other, and I am glad to have him back.
This has been a year of transitions, moving, and blessings. The Spirit is well and alive, and full of surprises. John and I had downsized our home, readying for the next chapter of empty nesting and life out of politics. Recently, my youngest son moved back home from Kansas City, because of a job opportunity. He will be living with us temporarily, and giving me the joy of having a three generation home, under one roof. As an added bonus, I take care of two of my grandkids on Monday evenings overnight. So our Monday night home is technically a four generation home. My dad takes out his hearing aids.
This week, my father and I traveled to Iowa, so that he could see his older brother Fred who lives in Bluegrass. They had not seen each other in twenty years and the reunion was sublime. They spent hours remembering stories of their childhood in Polo, Illinois. They told jokes, regaled us with memorized poems and song lyrics, talked about the history of our German name, and remembered family members long gone, urging me to remember the stories of family. The reunion continued at the table during dinner, reminding me of communion and the importance of our connectedness as a family of God.
My visit to Uncle Fred and and Aunt Jo’s home was made complete by the company of my four first cousins. Two of them I had never met, the other two I did not remember, we briefly met when I was four, so I’m told. This room full of family that I did not know, instantly became people I love. We are the same, giving me to think that I must have loved them before I knew them.
This Thanksgiving, it is my hope that you will find yourself with family and friends who share stories around the table and talk about hopes and dreams for the future while remembering stories of the past, giving thanks to God, who brings people together as family. 
"Praise the LORD .Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." -Psalm 106:1
- Noblesville’s Teri Ditslear is a pastor whose column appears Saturdays in The Times. Contact her at, on Facebook or at