Most families have some traditions that have staying power and real meaning….in our family that tradition is sharing Sunday dinner with grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, sisters, brothers and sometimes friends! It is one of the most cherished traditions to carry on from both sides of our family. It is so popular that our grandchildren have told us countless times how much they look forward to this time together each week. I know they are sincere because they have quit sports teams, refused coveted invitations and made friends unhappy to make sure they don’t miss this treasured family ritual.
Every Sunday since I was a child, my family and occasionally extended family gathered around my Grandma Weaver’s table to share Sunday dinner or a Sunday afternoon game of canasta and dessert. My husband’s family had a similar tradition and so when he and I married in 1971, we generally had Sunday lunch at my family’s house and Sunday dinner at his parents home.
After my Dad passed away, my Mom had less enthusiasm for cooking big meals and so we combined our families on Sunday at one meal. My husband’s Mom, Genny, usually hosted the dinner and my Mom and sister would join us in their home. After my husband’s father passed away, Chuck and I started hosting Sunday dinner at our house and continued to include both of our Moms. My Mom, G’ma Pud, was the last of our elders to pass and I am so thankful we had all of these dinners and special moments together!
On February 18, 2016 after mom passed away; I was unsure how I could continue without her. All of you who have lost your parents know what it feels like to be passed the torch for continuing family traditions. As I was thinking about both of our Moms and their loving legacies; the one I found that I was most grateful for was their effort to gather us all together every Sunday! It sounds easy, but it is much more difficult than you would think!
I remembered all of the smiles, laughter and the aromas of the roast and dumplings, ham and scalloped potatoes, lasagna and taco nights where we shared these special moments and some great food. The greatest thing about this tradition has always been the opportunity to connect with family. No price can be put on the treasure of having time to catch up on the events of the week and really share the stories of our lives! In this age of ‘snap chat’, texting and other technology based communication; it is a gift to sit face to face with someone and look them in the eyes while they share their thoughts with you.
Our tradition of being together in person once a week is genuinely the highlight of our week. Every week is unique and sometimes we cry in our soup and other times we roll on the floor in laughter leaving cookie crumbs in our wake! Either way, it is always the family time that makes it special. As I look back on fifty years of gathering together with family to break bread, laugh, cry or just listen to the beauty of the conversations around me; I realize how truly blessed I am!
I take great honor in knowing that I am carrying on a tradition that has lasted for three generations. I also find great comfort in knowing that this tradition will not die with me and will continue throughout the coming generations. It is through our coming together that we have been able to weather adversity and overcome hardships that if we were alone, might seem insurmountable. These fifty-two Sundays a year we embrace, relive our history, pass on our legacy and share our love for one another! It is with great humility I thank those who came before and created this beloved tradition.
Be well~Be grateful~Be blessed,