Phil and Mary Sue are generous hosts. Thanksgiving is their special time with family, but they regularly invite "orphans"- people like my wife and me who have no other place to go. This year, we looked forward to joining Phil and Mary Sue's family and friends at their home. They were expecting seventeen guests. No Indians on the guest list this year, but Phil says he will let the occasional Australian stand in for them.
On Monday of Thanksgiving week, however, Phil got word that his 98-year old mother had had a stroke. Mary Sue was already in Florida, helping out with Phil's mom when he was summoned to her bedside.
Soon, it was clear they would not be returning for the holiday. Bravely, Phil's daughter, Katie, husband Rob, her brother, Ben, and his girlfriend, Mel, pledged to carry on in the parents' absence.