You would not think that the people that began our Thanksgiving tradition still had such hardships fresh in their minds. Hardships that I can not begin to imagine. This is the second post in a Thanksgiving series. The facts are taken from “Thanksgiving, A Time to Remember” by Barbara Rainey.
“Perhaps the Pilgrims had felt that the worst was over when they finally set foot on solid ground again. But their relief was only momentary. As the weeks went by, the weather grew worse. In the coldest stretch of winter, a disease made much of the community desperately ill. The Pilgrims began to die in alarming numbers. Near the end of March, with the weather improving and the worst of the influenza outbreak over, the surviving Pilgrims assessed their winter losses. Several entire families had perished in the epidemic; fifteen of nineteen women were dead; in only four couples had both spouses survived. The children had fared the best. Of ten girls, nine survived, and only eight of the twenty-three boys died. Nearly half of those who had arrived on the Mayflower now lay in the shallow graves dug on a windswept hill beside the sea.”
These are the men and women that established our country. These tragedies struck the very land that we inhabit today. These is our family tree.
Surely they questioned their journey. I am sure some of them wished they had stayed in England. I imagine that many of them questioned God. Surely some of them were angry. How hard! Now they were in a new land with no home, no knowledge of how to survive, and now each of them had been touched by death in a huge way. This is not the Thanksgiving story that runs through the mind of most while we prepare the turkey.