Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Bea’s Thanksgiving Day blessings November 26, 2017

Kids create festive placements like this one for the Faribault Community Thanksgiving Dinner.


Go to the back door and walk in, the slip noted. Despite the instructions, I felt uncomfortable simply walking into a stranger’s home without first knocking. So I knocked, eased open the door and entered the galley kitchen. There Bea (not her real name) shoved her walker toward me, smile bright with greeting on this Thanksgiving morning.

Randy and I carried Styrofoam containers—one holding in the heat of a traditional turkey dinner, the other a slice of pumpkin pie.

Bea’s face flashed joy in seeing us. She directed me to place the containers on the seat of her walker. But I set them on the counter instead, advising her I would carry them to the dining room table. First, though, Bea peeked at the pie, which drew her praise.

“Would you like to see the dinner?” I asked. I lifted the lid to reveal shreds of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, a dab of cranberries and a dinner roll. Bea’s smile widened wider.

The petite senior pulled silverware from a drawer and I followed her to the table with the dinner and the dessert, depositing both onto her directed spot. And then I bent close, spontaneously wrapping this dear woman in a hug. She held on and cooed and I nearly cried for the joy of the moment, of holding Bea close in a prayer of thanksgiving.


Note: This is the second year Randy and I have delivered meals for the Faribault Community Thanksgiving dinner. We donated about two hours of our time to wait in line, pick up 10 meals and take them to five homes in Faribault. It continues to be a humbling, joyful and meaningful experience.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “Bea’s Thanksgiving Day blessings”

  1. Bernadette Says:

    A lovely way to give thanks.

  2. I’m so glad to have read your post and found out what you did for Thanksgiving. What a great community services you have done to the homes that need them. I used to donate and delivered Christmas presents to the inmates’ children as if the presents were given by their parents behind bars!

    • Thank you for your kindness and service to those children. I’m sure you brought them much joy.

      Besides delivering meals and then eating a turkey dinner with others from the community, we enjoyed Thanksgiving meals with family over the weekend.

      • Yes, Audrey. I hosted the Thanksgiving dinner this year. It was so wonderful to have almost 20 family members in the house!

      • I miss those big family Thanksgiving meals. So glad you had a houseful of loved ones to enjoy.

      • Thank you, Audrey. I’m glad most of my husband’s family still meet, even though some of them have their own schedule. My daughter’s family and my sister’s family still came. Hopefully we won’t move too far away from each other! was your family used to live close by?

      • My siblings and their families all still live in Minnesota, the most distant being 2 1/2 hours from my home. As our children grew, married and had children of their own, we stopped getting together on Thanksgiving or Easter. Instead, we get together in July and mid-December. I am the only one with adult children living out of state with my son in Boston and my second daughter in far eastern Wisconsin. I am thankful whenever my core family of husband, daughters and their spouses, son and granddaughter can all be together. That happens once a year, if that. It is the reality of life. I don’t like it, but delight in the times we can be together.

  3. Beth Ann Says:

    And that is why I always love doing Meals on Wheels —-such gratitude for such a small action. Love that you and Randy do this.

  4. Such a beautiful way to give back, give thanks and just connect 🙂

  5. Susan Ready Says:

    Yes I agree with others such a wonderful way to give back to others with time

  6. Jackie Says:

    What a joy you and Randy brought to this woman, You two have such servant hearts. God bless you!

  7. What an amazing way to spend Thanksgiving! What a blessing.

  8. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Bless the two of you for taking the time to do that. It so sad that many of the elderly don’t have a place to go to for the holidays

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