Special Memories of a Final Thanksgiving Meal Danielle and Gabrielle Hall lost their mother, Martha Hall, to breast cancer in 2003. The sisters say their last Thanksgiving meal together with her revealed the holiday's true meaning.

Special Memories of a Final Thanksgiving Meal

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Time now for StoryCorps. This project is traveling the country, recording conversations between friends and loved ones.

DANIELLE HALL: I am Danielle Hall.

GABRIELLE HALL: I'm Gabrielle Hall.

HALL: And today, we're going to talk about our mom.

MONTAGNE: Danielle and Gabrielle Hall lost their mother, Martha Hall, to breast cancer four years ago. She was 54. Her daughters came to StoryCorps in San Francisco to remember her.

HALL: Mom was amazing.

HALL: She was determined and strong and intense and good at everything she did - more than anybody else's mom that I knew.

HALL: She's still better than everybody else's mom we know.


HALL: Like the time that she sent me that poem about - if you're having a bad day, bake a cake. And if it's still bad, put on a red dress. And after the first time that she'd been in the hospital, I went out and bought a red skirt.

HALL: I read that and gave her a pair of red shoes and she would wear her red shoes to chemotherapy. And she'd tell everybody there that you can't have a bad day if you're wearing red shoes. I just wish that I could remember her healthy.

HALL: Yeah. I have pictures of our last Thanksgiving of mom in her pajamas.

HALL: At the head of the table.

HALL: With an IV pole. She had cancer at that point for 14 years.

HALL: And she hadn't been able to eat, and she hadn't been eating for days. And it was the last meal she had.

HALL: We had 10 days after that.

HALL: Everyone knew she was dying and that really kind of shifted our whole perspective of Thanksgiving, that we really had stuff to be thankful about. That we had Mom.

HALL: The last time I saw her, I had been telling her that we were going to be okay, that you were going to be okay, and we would take care of everybody. That she had done everything she could to teach us and love us and raise us. And it was time for her to let go - that we loved her and she'd always be with us.

HALL: That makes Thanksgiving really special that we're spending it together. And before we eat, we will go around and say what we are thankful for and it's not something minor. And Thanksgiving is a good time for us to remember.


MONTAGNE: Gabrielle and Danielle Hall, remembering their mother, Martha, in San Francisco.

All StoryCorps interviews are archived at the Library of Congress. And you can read more of these stories in the new StoryCorps book, listening is an act of love. Hear more at npr.org.

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