Tally walked home from school, her shoes crunching through dead leaves. She loved this time of year. The day after tomorrow her class was having a party. They would make crafts, play games, and eat pie. The day after that, her cousins were coming for Thanksgiving dinner. She couldn’t wait! Tally’s good mood made it easy to feel grateful, even with the cold wind whipping through her hair.
But the next day, Tally woke up feeling awful, especially when she swallowed. Mom used a flashlight to look inside Tally’s mouth. “We’d better go see the doctor,” she said.
All the way there, Tally prayed, Heavenly Father, please help me get better so I don’t have to miss the party.
The doctor used a cotton swab to swipe the back of Tally’s throat. Then she left the room to go test the swab for an infection called strep throat. Tally prayed she didn’t have it.
When the doctor came back, she said, “It looks like you don’t have strep.”
Tally beamed. Did this mean she could go to school tomorrow?
“I’ll do a second test to make sure, but for now go home and rest,” the doctor said.
The next morning it still hurt when Tally swallowed. Maybe if she went to school, she’d have so much fun she wouldn’t notice the pain. She was getting dressed when the phone rang. Soon Mom came into Tally’s room.
“I’m sorry, Tally, but the doctor just called. The second test showed that you do have strep throat. The first test was wrong.”
Tally’s heart dropped. “But can I still go to school? I promise I won’t breathe on anyone.”
“I’m sorry, Tally. That wouldn’t be fair to the other kids. No matter how careful you are, until you’ve taken medicine for a day, your infection could still make other people sick.”
Tally tried to swallow the lump rising in her throat, but it hurt too much. It wasn’t fair!
While Tally rested in bed, feeling bored, she thought about her classmates making crafts and playing games. When she took her yucky pills, she thought about her friends eating pie. They probably didn’t even notice she was gone. She knew Thanksgiving should help her remember her blessings, but it was hard to feel grateful when she felt so sad and left out.
That afternoon the doorbell rang. Tally heard her teacher’s voice when Mom answered the door.
“We sure missed Tally today,” her teacher said. “The class made some crafts for her. And we saved her some pie too. Please tell her we hope she feels better soon. Happy Thanksgiving!”
Tally came out of her room to find paper turkeys and a clay cornucopia on the kitchen table. She could tell someone had worked hard on them. She was grateful for such good friends.
“Do you want some pie?” Mom pointed to the treat Tally’s teacher had left.
Tally took a bite. When she swallowed, her throat didn’t hurt quite as much. She was grateful that after resting and taking medicine, she was starting to feel better in time for the family party tomorrow.
Heavenly Father hadn’t healed her right away, like she’d asked, but He had blessed her to feel comforted. And she was beginning to feel a little better. Tomorrow her cousins were coming, and she could show them the crafts her class had made. Maybe they could even make some crafts together.
Tally smiled. It was easy to feel grateful with so many blessing to count.
“There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious. We can be grateful!”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Grateful in Any Circumstances,” Ensign, May 2014, 70.