Thursday, November 24, 2011
Family, A Loving Foundation
Holidays, they come and go very quickly, but the unity a family creates around a dining room table exceeds and flourishes the bonds that unite them.
Having dinner together as a family instills fond memories that can be filled with laughter and love.
There is an old saying in the Catholic church, "that a family that prays together stays together." I agree with this saying and I also agree and know that a few minutes spent as a family together around a dining room table will create memories that will last a lifetime. These are memorable traditions that can be carried on throughout future generations.
I have always made it a point to have dinner everyday as a family. When the boys would arrive home from school my dinner was ready. We would set the table with nice dishes. Dinner was served everyday at 4:30 pm and on Thursdays & Fridays we had dinner at 6pm because my oldest son had football or wrestling practice. But no matter what we ate together every day as a family.
One day Sammy and I arrived home from his chemotherapy session earlier than usual, so I decided to make a nice dinner. I made a large pan of Lasagna, a large toss salad, and some freshly baked garlic bread. My oldest son's friend Danny had stopped by the house to see Sammy and since it was dinner time I invited him to join us. He was a very happy young man and anxious to eat my food. After serving the table it was Billy's turn to say the blessing on the food and as we bowed our heads in prayer, I could feel Danny's eyes staring at us as the prayer was being implored.
After the prayer was over we began to pass down the food and as we did laughter filled the room. Danny was taken back by the joy that was occurring before his eyes and as I could see his heart breaking his attitude changed from happy to sad. I then decided to break the ice by saying, "Come on boy, dig in. In this house we eat, laugh and enjoy this precious time together." Danny loosened up a bit and as the dining continued my youngest son then said, "Come on Danny, at Mom's house you can eat as much as you want. Eat some more" Danny's eyes seemed to get red and watery, so I asked him if he was okay? He answered very softly, "Millie I have never sat and had dinner with my family. We don't hardly talk or see each other much" My heart broke in two of the thought that this 15 year old boy was all alone in this world. I felt his pain so I hugged him. I also realized he was experiencing for the first time in his life what a family really is.
I explained to him the importance of why we unite as a family and as we slowly emerged into a gospel conversation in which I knew he was being loved. My son Billy and I kept Danny uplifted spiritually and away from the streets, we filled his heart with much love which he lacked so much of since birth. We fed him almost every day as he slowly became part of our family. Unfortunately after my son went on his mission, Danny stopped coming over the house and he became an alcoholic. Danny now is in his 30's but he looks like he is 60 years old because of his alcohol and drug addiction.
The outcome of our children's character has a lot to do with their upbringing. The family uniting every day to have supper together is crucial. Having this moment together doesn't mean that it will keep them from Satan's grasp, but there's a greater chance they won't fall into his hands.
Our youth today seldom remember the last time they had dinner with their family,
so have family dinners together, it may save your children's life.