Sunday dinner is not just a normal meal at my in-law’s house, but it’s more like a weekly family reunion of the Walters family. My mother-in-law starts preparing Sunday dinner on Saturday evening. No, she’s not making Saturday’s supper, so don’t even think about digging in until Sunday after church!
The preparation continues early Sunday morning before she eats breakfast. Sunday dinner is a special time as we gather round the big table and wait for my father-in-law to pray. “Dad” is always mindful about thanking “Mom/Nanny” for the hard work she has done in making dinner for us all, and then he thanks the Lord for the food, and he thanks the Lord for Mom.
Mom has been doing this for many years, and there’s not many Sundays that she is unable to do it, unless she is not feeling well, or she’s out of town with Dad. Not only does she serve lots of delicious food (and always some type of dessert), but she puts in a good deal of time, energy, thought, preparation and work.
With all of that being said, there is one more thing that goes into this whole process, and that thing is a huge amount of love. There’s lots of preparation that goes into this weekly shindig, and there’s a good bit of cleanup after all is said and eaten. Why does Mom do this week after week, month after month, year after year, and decade after decade? It’s because she loves me, her favorite son-in-law! Of course, that’s not the reason because we have spent most of the past twenty-four years in Brazil. Simply put, Mom/Nanny loves her family, in spite of all the different idiosyncrasies each family has. (Some of my sisters-in-law have some pretty weird ways!) LOL.
We don’t go to my in-law’s house each Sunday because we “have” to, but because we love her, we appreciate all that she does for us, and because we like to eat her wonderful homemade food. When my family is Stateside and in South Carolina, we count it a privilege to have Sunday dinner with the family. No one at our church needs to ask if I want to go out to a restaurant to eat Sunday dinner. No! (Duh.) I don’t even need to think about it or consult with my wife. The place for all the family to be for Sunday dinner is at my in-law’s house. It’s not a choice we have to think about because it’s automatic. It’s Sunday, and we’re going! If someone wants to take us out to eat, well, let’s go out between Monday and Saturday.
The past two weeks have been rough for my mother-in-law, but she doesn’t like it when someone makes a “fuss” over her when she’s not feeling well. When she was taken by ambulance to the hospital last Friday I was very concerned, and prayed for her a lot that afternoon and evening. I was greatly relieved when I found out that she was feeling better and able to go home. I was also somewhat surprised – though not entirely – that she was at church today, and even in her usual spot of interpreting for the deaf. I don’t know if she fixed Sunday dinner for the family today (I’m in Brazil as I write this), but even though she shouldn’t have, she probably did.
Let me finish my sentimental rambling by saying that I am grateful to God for the wife that I have, and for the mother-in-law that I have. I love her, and she says she loves me (maybe because I did my part in contributing to the majority of her grandchildren, or maybe because I live thousands of miles away). I wanted to let her know that what she does is not unnoticed or unappreciated. As long as I live I will never forget Sunday dinner at Dad and Mom’s house.
Whether it’s Sunday dinner, pizza-movie night, or whatever your family traditionally does, don’t squander those precious times together as a family, but hold on to those times as long as possible. The “good old days” that you will one day look back on are happening right now.
I missed Mom’s Sunday dinner today because I returned to Brazil a few days ago, but I sure could go for a plate of her stewed beef and rice, green beans, and banana pudding!
Friends, don’t take your family for granted. Love them, tell them that you love them, but most of all, show them that you love them. Love your family more than you love your smartphone. You will never regret the time you spend with family members that love you, but you will regret it if you miss an opportunity that you will never have again.
I love Sunday dinner with the family!