Sunday Dinner 2000
When my grandmother died, the pastor preached a beautiful funeral about how my grandmother had been a true Proverbs 31 woman, “worth far more than rubies…speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue…Her children arise and call her blessed…Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” As I sat there with tears in my eyes reflecting on the wonderful woman my grandmother had been, I heard the preacher call my name. He called me out in the sanctuary and urged me to continue what my grandmother had started, a tradition of Sunday dinner with all the family gathered around.
My grandmother’s house was small, maybe 1,000 square foot, two bedrooms, and everything was tiny. To increase counter space, there was a special board with a notch for the faucet placed over the sink. The food was set out buffet style. We used real dishes, not fine China; grandmother preferred Correlle since they wouldn’t break. The silverware didn’t match. There was one special fork with a black handle that everyone fought over. The thickness of the biscuits depended upon how many were expected. Grandmother bore six children. She had ten grandchildren and then, of course, the great grands began to come.
She was quiet and strong. She could be stern. She would speak her mind when necessary. While she usually deferred to her husband, she would put him in his place when necessary. She went to church every Sunday, and she saw that we went too.
When the pastor called me out that day, I felt an overwhelming desire to run. Before my mother passed, she told me to continue cooking Sunday dinner and bringing grandmother to it. I obeyed. I had planned to give it up, but the pastor called me out. It seemed a sign from God. Inwardly I grumbled, but I obeyed.
It is a lot of work: planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t understand until my grandson was born.
I wanted to be called Grandmother like she had been. My kids vetoed that. My brother threatened me with Granny. Daniel decided one day that I was Mamaw, and that was that. For him, I keep apples, bananas, blueberries, and just about any fruit will do. He loves cake, but only when it has lots of frosting. He’ll push his plate back and with his Southern drawl announce that he wants cake. He now has a little brother, and I love watching them play together.
My mother always told me I wouldn’t understand motherhood until I became a mother. I think being a grandparent is the same way.
Today is a sad Sunday dinner. My son and his bride of six years are moving away. Only 3 1/2 hours, but a little too far to make dinner every week. I am proud of them. They have been working towards this goal for years, and it is the perfect opportunity for them. I can still miss them though.
We’ll be celebrating my niece’s fifteenth birthday. She is excited about getting her permit. For dessert, she wants brownies and Oreo icecream. You only turn fifteen once. I love that I have gotten to watch her and her brother grow up. He’ll turn thirteen next month.
I am thankful that my family takes an hour or so each week to stop and come together to enjoy a meal together.