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Jenkins column: Be thankful for what we do have and donít have

Sue Bradyís Thanksgiving wonít be like ours.
She wonít have a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings today. Her home wonít brim with family and friends. She wonít be glued to the TV watching the parade or the game, or resting up for Black Friday shopping.
It doesnít take Sue long to sum up her Thanksgiving plans.
ěNothing,î she says.
Nothing. Itís about all sheís got, and about all sheís got to look forward to. And sheís not the only person in Rowan County facing unhappy holidays unless they get some help.
Someone contacted the Post this week about Sue. The call came from a woman who works for a home health company. The company doesnít provide any services to Sue, and the woman who called is based in Atlanta. Somehow, though, Sue had gotten her on the phone and asked for help, and something in her voice told the woman she really needed it.
A 51-year-old with a host of ailments ó fibromyalgia, chronic asthma and near total blindness just to name a few ó Sue had been released from a hospital stay and was returning to the loneliness of her eastern Rowan trailer.
Worse, she was going home to nearly empty cupboards. In a week when most of us are salivating over the thought of a big Thanksgiving Day spread, Sue was wondering how long she could make a bag of rice last.
ěI donít have anything here to eat,î she said in a phone call.
Itís not that she has no family. Sue has a daughter, who she says is taking care of three children on her own and is really no better off than she is. ěShe does what she can for me,î Sue says.
And itís not as if she has no income at all. But less than $12,000 a year in Social Security doesnít do much more than keep a roof over her head ó a roof that sits atop an aging mobile home some would look at and think ought to be demolished. And a few dollarsí worth of food stamps doesnít go far in a month.
Sue got some help this week. Rowan Helping Ministries gave her some meat, some fresh produce, some cereals and breads and canned vegetables and pasta. She was delighted with the blueberry muffins.
So she has something to be thankful for today.
But how long will it last? How long until she has to call another stranger begging for help?
And how many more are out there, just like her?
We all know a Sue Brady, or know of someone like her, or know how we can find out about someone like her.
So letís help them if we can. Letís not wait to be asked.
And when we sit down today to carve the turkey or slice the ham, letís give thanks for what we have. But letís be thankful, too, for what we donít have, if we donít have the misfortunes and afflictions of the Sue Bradys of this world.
They live quietly, desperately, in the corners of society, in the shadows.
Their cups runneth over with poverty and sickness and loneliness and hunger.
Their Thanksgiving wonít be like ours. They have horns of plenty. But you canít eat hardship.
Contact Scott Jenkins at sjenkins@salisburypost.com or 704-797-4248.

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