11/28/13 — Many will take time for thanks today

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Many will take time for thanks today

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on November 28, 2013 12:10 AM

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Madonna Brown, Jessica Brown and Barbara Hart

During the Thanksgiving season many families spend time thinking about what they are thankful for as they sit around the table.

For some of them, that bit of gratitude centers around a reunion with a loved one.

And that is just what Barbara Hart of Kentucky will be thankful for this year -- the chance to spend the holidays with her daughter, Madonna Brown, and her family, in Wayne County.

On Monday, mother, daughter -- and granddaughter, Jessica -- were out making the rounds as they prepared for the family's annual feast.

"I'm thankful for my friends, family and everything I have," Mrs. Hart said. "I'm thankful for her green hair," Mrs. Hart joked as she glanced at Jessica's dyed hair.

"I'm thankful to be here and that I'm thankful that I'm able to be thankful for anything," Jessica said.

As the trio loaded up their groceries before heading home, Madonna took a moment to mull the question over before answering.

Happy to be with her own family, she thought about those who were not so lucky.

"I'm thankful that I was warm last night," she said. "Because I know there were plenty of people who weren't."

For some, like Ciara Howell, this is a year to be especially thankful.

She wasn't sure her mother would live to see another Thanksgiving.

Her holiday prayers will be for family.

"I'm thankful for my son," she said. "I'm also thankful my mom is OK. She's been sick, but she's doing better."

Her mother, Donna, recently got out of the hospital.

Donna said she has a lot to be thankful for, too.

"I'm grateful to be with my family and to be healthy. I was on life support for a little while there. And I'm thankful for my children and to have enough to eat."

Gray Renegar was walking off lunch Monday on a sales trip from Fayetteville.

He remembered those who could not be with their families this holiday season.

"I'm thankful for friends, family and our military," he said.

Marisol Ramirez was heading to her job at La Paz, a Mexican restaurant on Spence Avenue.

Her holiday wish was multi-cultural.

"I'm thankful for turkey and for Mexican food," she said.

Mal Reid is ready for the holiday, too, adding that he and his family will take the time to think of others who are not so lucky.

The Reids will cook extra food to carry around to the needy after they finish their Thanksgiving dinner. It is a family tradition.

"I'm thankful that I know the Lord and that I am in a position to give back to those who are not so lucky," he said.

Stacey Griffin has an even more basic wish. She is happy to spend some time with her family away from the craziness of her daily life.

"I'm thankful to be able to see my family and for the calmness they bring," she said. "Even if they are dysfunctional."

Betty Dawson is just thankful to have another day of life.

"I'm feeling thankful for being alive and hoping that everyone who is hungry will eat," she said.

John Lee was on business in Goldsboro. And while he will be on call during Thanksgiving, he hopes to spend most of the holiday with family.

He will think ahead to the next holiday -- and the real reason for the upcoming season.

"I'm thankful for my good relationship with Christ and my family and to live in a Christian home," he said. "That about sums it all up there."