The Last Thanksgiving.


This past Thanksgiving (2013) I was uncertain of where I would go. My immediate family lives hours away from me. And so I was very blessed to be invited to the Parrish Clubhouse for Thanksgiving dinner by my dear friend Janae.

A week before that, I had attended Sunday dinner at the Clubhouse. It is a weekly event that brings the Parrish and Curtis family together on Parrish Lane.

In the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but picture my future family…and I wanted something like the Clubhouse Sunday dinners. It was real. And it was full of family. And love. Everyone got together to play with their cousins, and chat about their lives, and update everyone about their children on missions.

It was such a blessing to be surrounded by such love on Thanksgiving.

There was plenty of Turkey. And tons of laughter. And sweetness that I never knew before.

After all the chaos of cooking, we finally sat down to eat. And Bill Parrish said a prayer that made me feel like a blanket of protection was over us. And I felt such peace and sincerity come from his kind words.

And then we took the time to go around and say what we were Thankful for. It took us about an hour, but I know we were all glad we did it, because I believe it brought everyone closer.

I felt such peace and love come from each member of the family. Everyone was so open and eager to share how thankful they were for their family. Even the littlest of kids expressed their love for each other. For their trials. For God. And for the blessings of the Gospel.

And then it was my turn. And I wasn’t hesitant to speak, because I felt so welcomed and loved. And even though I am not biologically apart of that family, I felt connected in a way I have never felt with my own relatives. It was such a magical feeling. And I cried, because I was overjoyed and thankful to no end.

And throughout the day, Ross Parrish made a special effort to talk with me and was genuinely interested in what I was doing and how my family was doing. She always welcomed me with a bright smile.

Of all the kids that were at the get-together, Keegan Parrish was the first to greet me and chat with me. He had such an awesome spirit and funny sense of humor. He was so mature from what I gathered. And he had such love for his family.

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And so to learn about Bill & Ross Parrish’s family tragedy, makes me feel broken inside. Their lives ended too short and so sudden. I want to reach out to everyone and hug them. I want to go back to that Last Thanksgiving and pause time. Because my heart aches for their families, knowing they will never be in their presence again on this earth. And I am confused. And I question WHY? Like so many do when death creeps in the middle of the night.

I never thought last Thanksgiving would be the last time I would see them.

I am overwhelmed.

And I know how it feels to lose somebody so close.

My heart goes out to Jensen and Ian Parrish. They are what is left and I wish them strength to get through these next unbearable days until they reach home to say their goodbyes. And pray for them to understand and to grieve and to continue on their journey. And to stay close to God.

I want to be able to offer words of wisdom or strength. But all I feel I can do is offer silence and prayer. And hope for peace.

God bless everyone effected by this sudden misfortune. Always remember to say ‘I Love You’ because you never know what tomorrow brings.

And God be with Us ‘Til We Meet Again.


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