Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Godmother of Thanksgiving: Sarah Josephina Hale

Did you know we can owe our Thanksgiving celebrations to an amazing woman who found herself widowed at age 34, with five children? I urge you to visit The Pilgrim Hall Museum and read about the fascinating Sarah Josephena Hale! Besides a lifelong crusade for our Thanksgiving holiday, she became a prolific writer to support her family. In 1828 she became editor of the Ladie's Magazine of Boston, the first magazine for women edited by a woman. In 1837 Ladie's Magazine merged with Lady's Book to become Godey's Lady's Book, "the most widely-read magazine of the 19th century and Sarah one of America's most influential voices," according to the Pilgrim Hall Museum website article.

Do you know why I collect and post stories of widows? They are my heroes! They've made the difficult journey through grief with a trail of influence and accomplishment behind them---and you might do the same!!!

So be inspired and take heart. God, who began a good work in you is not going to leave you abandoned and forsaken in grief. He will carry you and make your life complete in Christ! (see Philippians 1).

Do you know how I find these widows? It's totally random. I just listen and watch. When I hear a tidbit of a woman's accomplishment, I dig for some info about her---and I often discover she was widowed! I'm continually amazed at these treasures I find, and so excited to share them with you!

Our good ancestors were wise, even in their mirth.We have a standing proof of this in the season they chose for the celebration of our annual festival, the Thanksgiving.The funeral-faced month of November is thus made to wear a garland of joy…
There is a deep moral influence in these periodical seasons of rejoicing, in which a whole community participate.They bring out, and together, as it were, the best sympathies of our nature.The rich contemplate the enjoyments of the poor with complacency, and the poor regard the entertainments of the rich without envy, because all are privileged to be happy in their own way.”
Sarah Josephena Hale (1788-1879)

Today I am thankful for people of national foresight, like Sarah Josephena Hale, and those responsible for other national holidays and the treasures of our state and national parks, who bestowed on generations to come a heritage of gratitude and good things to enjoy.

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