JONESVILLE — As lives progress with marriages and deaths, some individuals are left to spend holidays alone, but the choice is theirs in the Yadkin Valley thanks to Theo’s in Jonesville.
Each Thanksgiving Theofanis Kakouras provides a traditional holiday meal free to community members.
Although many individuals are grateful for the generosity of the owner of Theo’s Italian and Family Restaurant in Jonesville, some are grateful for more than just the food.
“It makes me sad because there’s so many people that are hurt this year that really didn’t need to get hurt,” said Carol Tesh, “and we have our military involved for so many years now and it don’t seem like we’re coming to an end.”
At nearly 70 years of age, Tesh has learned from the tragedy of loss.
“I buried three husbands and when you see people that are a good couple and they fight for no reason [it is sad],” said Tesh, adding she hopes people will be thankful for their partners, “because when they’re gone they’re gone. You don’t get to fight anymore.”
Tesh joined a group of widows during the Thanksgiving meal.
“We frequent here a lot through the year,” said Edna Mendenhall, noting she and her friends have made it a point to be at Theo’s for Thanksgiving the last three years.
“We just have a wonderful time,” said Mendenhall. “They have good food. You see a lot of people you know. We have a good visitation here and meet a lot of people.”
Meeting people can be important at this time of year.
“We don’t have anybody else to cook for,” said Mae Finney. “I’m thankful for my family even though I don’t get to see them. Maybe I’ll get to see my daughter and husband someday in Heaven, but I’m thankful for now, for life and all that God has blessed me with.”
“It’s not all bad and it’s not all good,” said Tesh, who was grateful for the friends she sat with on Thanksgiving Day thanks to Theo’s. “I don’t have a lot of friends.”
“I’m thankful for all my family. My church family at Fall Creek Baptist Church in Jonesville and friends,” said Ollie Benton.
“It’s sort of like we are a family,” said Mendenhall. She said she was grateful to Theo’s for providing a meal to spend with her surrogate family. “It’s a good thing what he’s doing.
“You see things and you want other people to be as blessed as well,” said Mendenhall. “[Thanksgiving] means being thankful for your friends, for your family and church and everything that God has blessed you with.”
To help sponsor or volunteer for next year’s free Thanksgiving dinner, call Theofanis Kakouras at 336-526-5888.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.