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Residents share what they’re thankful for

Many Rolla Presbyterian Manor residents seem to intuitively understand the value of giving thanks.

In recent years, experts in positive psychology have reported a link between gratitude and better mental, physical and emotional well-being. But the Presbyterian Manor residents we spoke to discussed thankfulness as a lifelong practice, often centered around prayer.

Residents Joyce Tucket, Janet Brown, Fern Seest, Forrest O’Neal and Mary Ellen Bailey all give thanks to God when they pray.

“When I say my prayers, I give thanks,” Joyce said — it’s just that simple for her and the other residents with whom we spoke.

When Forrest prays, he thanks God specifically for his guidance and help.

In addition to her prayers, Fern also contemplates her blessings when she’s talking to herself. For her, thankfulness comes “automatically.”

We found common themes in what residents are thankful for, both over the course of their lives and since the beginning of the pandemic.

When Joyce looks back on her life, she is thankful to be alive after a battle with cancer. She’s also grateful for her husband, her three daughters and her parents.

After the last couple of years, she is simply thankful to be alive and in good health.

Janet strikes a similar note, thankful for, “the most wonderful parents,” and for her loving husband and three daughters.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, she gives thanks that she lives in a safe place, for her friends and for the company that has visited her.

Fern is thankful see gets to see her family and that her health has improved recently.

“I’m better than I was,” she said. “I can use my left arm.”

Like the others, Forrest is grateful for his family. He thanks God for the nursing team that has cared for him since the beginning of the pandemic.

Mary Ellen is thankful she became a Christian when she was 10 years old. She feels grateful for God’s love and for the devotion of her parents, who taught her to give thanks, especially before meals. More recently, she is thankful that Presbyterian Manor was “strict and vigilant” about COVID-19.

Fern surely speaks for so many of us in her wish that the pandemic be over by Thanksgiving. That is something we would all be thankful for!

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