How about a really unique Thanksgiving story?
Actually, Thanksgiving is just one part of it. We speak here of an incredible miracle.
The year was 1969. Heidi Olsen had just been through a divorce. She was relocating to a modest one-bedroom apartment with her two sons. Money was tight — very — though she worked in a doctor’s office. That Thanksgiving morning, she woke up realizing she and the boys had nowhere to go: no one had invited them over.
Worse, she had no money to buy food. Literally none — no food but for three hot dogs in the refrigerator.
What, she wondered, had she gotten herself into, and how would she get herself out?
It’s called despair. The only plan she could conjure was a day at the park, with those hot dogs. Unfortunately, heading back from the park, “I remember my sons saying, ‘We’re so hungry.” No parent wants to hear that on any day.
Never had she felt so alone.
However, as she started up the stairs of her new apartment, something astounding occurred. A little old lady came out of a first-floor apartment and said, “Oh, honey. I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for you.”
Heidi just stood there staring at this woman she had never seen before — so swept up in the idea of feeding the two boys that she wasn’t even questioning the unlikely situation.
A prayer answered. Entering the apartment, Heidi immediately felt at home. “Everything was dimly lit, but the table was just loaded with food, and she was just incredibly sweet,” recalls Olsen. “She carved the turkey. Her presence was like electricity. She had a sparkle in her eyes. Food, yes, lots of it. But for me, with the loneliness I felt, what she gave to me was unconditional love, and it was one of the most special evenings that I have ever spent in my whole life.”
Why would a stranger cook dinner for her? Was it just an eccentric neighbor?
When they left, the woman gave them each a gift — and a ton of leftovers, enough for a week.
And Heidi suddenly felt life was worthwhile, that she was a good mother. That may have been the biggest miracle.
The next day brought a bigger surprise. When she gathered all the containers to return to the neighbor, there was no answer when she knocked on the door.
“I looked through the windows and the place was absolutely empty — dark and not one piece of furniture in there.”
It’s a memory that still causes goosebumps. She realized the woman had known things about her she could not have known (such as the fact that she loved potato salad and worked in a doctor’s office — yet for some reason, while it was happening, Heidi didn’t question it).
Shocked and confused, she immediately contacted the apartment supervisor, who told her the apartment had been vacant for “ten or twelve weeks now.”
When she told him it was impossible — she’d just had dinner there — the supervisor asked if she was “okay” — thought she was nuts.
Who could blame him?
But she knew a miracle had transpired. It changed her life. She now runs a service called “Angels Assistance” for single women such as she was in that fateful day. What a miracle indeed! Good for any time of year.