A holiday potluck

so many years ago

As two young teachers in the ’50s, living together in a charming house, my roommate and I invited anyone in our church’s single ministry who had no Thanksgiving plans to come and join us for a potluck.

Later, when my roommate and I discussed our menu, we learned that neither of us had ever roasted a turkey. What would we do? Pray!

The next Sunday evening, a petite Puerto Rican lady confessed she could not resist buying a turkey and asked if she could bring it to dinner — yes!

No one else confirmed their attendance, but sure enough, a dozen young men showed up, along with their appetites. One fellow brought a skillet full of braised birds (quail!). At the end of the evening we were all satisfied after all that food and laughter.

The following year’s Thanksgiving would find my roommate and me each married to one of the gentlemen who had attended our dinner. My spouse is the bird man, and we’re celebrating 56 years together.

Betty June Day


Wonderful nurse who cared for my grandma

We are always thankful for family, but sometimes we overlook the people behind the scenes. My grandma recently passed at the age of 102. She had been married for 69 years and was part of six generations in our family. I am so thankful to have known her over the last 55 years, and I feel these last four years were possible thanks to Sarah, a very loving and caring nurse at Horizon Acres.

I would visit my grandma every weekend, and Sarah would always be there. There was never a time she wasn’t cooking, cleaning or tending to the many senior residents who lived there. Sarah truly loves her job and the residents who live there. My grandma was very dear to me, and I know Sarah was there to give her the love she needed when I was not around. Even though my grandma has passed, I still go visit Sarah and the residents. They now have also become my family.

Wendy Parks

Retired kindergarten teacher, Tucson

Pastor Larry Munguia’s

SOBER project

The month of November celebrates 10 years of the great works of the SOBER (service, obedience, bonding, education and relationships) Project. No matter your beliefs, faith or none, one visit to this church on a Sunday will be a blessing in your life and heart.

When a member of my family had an addiction problem and found this church through the Gospel Mission, I attended in support. I have not missed a Sunday since.

Pastor Larry Munguia has a gift, and he is sharing it with broken but recovering men and women of all ages, as well as their families and loved ones. He has taken the SOBER Project to Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana, and has a weekly radio program on KGMS 940 AM.

His ministry has affected thousands of lives here in Tucson, and we are fortunate to have this program in our community. Larry’s ministry affects so many, not only the addicted, but those affected by it.

Shirlie Defoe

Retired, Tucson

A hug that was

definitely in order

You may complain about the Internet and its invasive activities. However, here is one “invasion” that made us thankful.

This message came through an old email site that I seldom use: “If you are the mother of Robert, please call me.”

Our son, Robert, age 23, died in his sleep in 1997. Three years before his death, he fathered a child who was immediately put up for adoption. Eighteen years passed with no knowledge of where his child was.

“If you are the mother of Robert, please call me.”

I gave the message to my wife. She made the call.

Nathan has grown up within 25 miles of our home. When he graduated from high school and turned 18, he and his father searched for his biological family. They found us from an old memorial announcement.

“If you are the mother of Robert, please call me.”

My wife made the call.

On our first visit to his family, Nathan’s greeting was, “I think a hug is in order.”

Sam Turner

Writer, Tucson

Wonderful husband

with whom I’m blessed

I am thankful for the wonderful husband I have. I am truly blessed to be married to him. I prayed for God to bless me with a good husband, and he did. I knew when I first met him he was a true gentleman and he knew how to treat a lady. I can’t imagine life without him. He is my best friend. We have so much in common.

Even when he does not enjoy the same thing I do (like shopping), he compromises and we work it out. I try not to take him for granted, but we often do take the ones we love for granted. When I see myself taking him for granted, I step back and look at how much I love him and what he does every day for me. It is then I realize how blessed I am. I hope we have a long life together and continue to be as happy as we are right now.

Jamie Spence

Housewife, Marana

The day my husband

came home to me

On Thanksgiving 1997, my husband had a stroke and ended up in the hospital for a month. The day I was told he would be coming home in a few days I came home and fell down on my knees and said, “Thank you, Lord, for letting my best friend come home.” We will be able to celebrate 50 years of marriage in March.

Thelma Bambauer

Retired legal assistant, Tucson

We'll continue to publish letters of thanks throughout the holiday season. Submit them to azstarnet.com/letters