Tuesday, October 7, 2008
When we were newlyweds we had very little money and in fact I think our parents were worried that we were even eating properly. We were invited to each home at least once a week for dinner. It was a lifesaver for us - two complete and healthy meals a week! We lived for those meals.
My in-laws had only one family to entertain as their other two children had made their ways to other communities in other states before very long. But by the time all of my mother's children were married, I think she decided it was easier to have us all in at the same time. Thus began the "Sunday lunch" tradition.
Every Sunday we met at my parents home after church for a "Sunday dinner" type of meal. Mom prepared everything from soup to nuts and we all appreciated the opportunity to keep up to date with each other. (Although we all lived on the East End it was way too easy with our busy lives to let time go by without checking in.) As our families grew and the next generation eventually numbered thirteen, Sunday lunch became an important part of our weekly routines. We watched each other's children grow up, and we learned to appreciate each other in new ways as well, eventually dropping most of the sibling roles that we once held in favor of new adult friendships with the people we had become.
My mother has been gone for nearly two years now and Sunday lunch continues to be part of our lives. Some of the children have moved away, but those that are here appreciate this tradition that my mother started, and we have vowed not to let it die. It has made us truly a family and we all recognize it for the wonderful gift that it was.
Yesterday, Sunday lunch was at my house. Everyone contributed to the meal and we spent about three hours together - a big extended family (over 20 of us if I counted right). My mother's great-grandchildren are reaping the benefit of her gift as they spend time every week with their cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-aunts and great-uncles. Can you imagine - in this day and age?
Thank you Mom. It truly was a gift that keeps on giving - and we are all grateful.