I’m thankful for being able to celebrate this Thanksgiving with my 92-year old grandmother. A few weeks ago, her house caught fire while she was getting ready for bed. When she first smelled smoke, she checked her kitchen to make sure there was nothing burning on the stove. Satisfied that there wasn’t, she returned to bed.

She woke up again smelling smoke and when she entered her dinning room, it was full of smoke. She managed to escape out of her back door where she flagged down a car passing her house. The Good Samaritan helped her into his car, called 911 and my cousin to come to get her. The fire was an electrical fire that demolished the basement and smoke damaged the remaining items in her house.

While this fire damaged lots of wonderful memories of Thanksgivings past around Granny’s dining room table, the bottom line is that God spared her life, our cherished memories are not “things” in that house, but experiences burned onto our consciousness.

As you can imagine, at 92 my grandmother has attended lots of loved one’s funerals. As I look at the calendar, I realize that November 20, 2012 marks the 29th anniversary of her husband’s (my grandfather’s) death. I remember having a very somber Thanksgiving in 1983 anticipating his funeral the day after. So losing her house, the home she vowed never to leave despite its size because it was the home that Granddaddy provided, is particularly devastating as I know she is mindful of the anniversary of his death. We will wrap our arms around her and take a new step much like the one she took in 1983.

Granny and I share that this fire proves that even at the ripe age of 92, God still has something that he needs for her to do here on earth.