Monday, May 20, 2013

Cheated Out of a Last Dinner

I'm feeling somewhat nostalgic.

I was going to write a post about my Mother's Day dinner. But that got me thinking about my three children and one daughter-in-law who were able to be there and who made it special for my mother-in-law and me (and it really was).

And that got me thinking that my youngest daughter has gone to Spain on a missions trip for 10 weeks and I don't know when we'll get all together again.

And that made me realize that my other daughter moves to Germany on July 8 before the younger one gets back. She is engaged to a German whom she met when he was an exchange student and they will marry in October in Germany.

And that means I truly don't know when I'll have all four of my children around my table together again.

And that got me thinking about when was the last time we were all together for a meal. It must have been just before our younger son's wedding, possibly breakfast the day before the wedding (because the rehearsal dinner I made for 50 people, doesn't count.) 

And then I felt cheated. I was cheated out of a "last supper," a meal where we could say, "This is the last time we will all be together around our table, possibly for many years." Where we could reminisce about sitting together at our table in Colombia when they all arrived home from school and everyone having something to tell, and a request (read demand) for me, and we let the hamster run around on the table eating their cookie crumbs. (Yes, I really allowed that!)

And we could reminisce about my oldest son being able to answer his little sister's science questions completely, accurately, and age adjusted. And about that little sister sending herself to a timeout for losing her temper almost every night when she was two. And about green milk in the jug on St. Patrick's Day. And about Mom (that's me) never remembering the napkins. And about my older daughter doing charades of our Bible reading as it was read. And about the manners game we played. And about my younger son eating his food faster than anyone else. And about the three guys talking a "foreign language" about cars, cameras, and computers.

And they could all say, "Mom, don't you dare cry. We'll be together again sooner than you think."

And I would choke up anyway.

And so would Dad.

But then I realized, that even though I didn't get a last supper, I have had almost twenty-eight years of family dinners, 
and breakfasts, 
and even many lunches. 

And I can be grateful that they still want to come to my table.

*  *  *  *  *

Do you know how to play the "Fleming's Manners Game"? We played it around our table as a fun way to learn manners! To read about it and many more ideas to help get your family connecting around your table, get a copy of Around the Table (the book) today! (Also available in digital format.)

If you do buy (or have read) this book, would you please write a review on Amazon? You don't have to like the book, but I would appreciate it very much if you would let the world know what you think of it.

Linking with these great blogs.


  1. It is amazing how these "last's" mean so much to me. Our son is getting married in a month & I keep thinking of the last time I will do laundry or iron for him, etc.Like you, I am blessed to have 25 years of happy days at our home. Thank you for sharing this lovely post! I visited from Titus 2 Tuesdays :)

    1. Viola, May you enjoy your lasts and then your new firsts. I'm so glad you had the 25 year of him at home. May you enjoy the next 25 with a new daughter!

  2. I'm feeling nostalgic with you this morning!

  3. Our 4 grown children still live at home with us, yet for the last 2 years it has been rare for all 6 of us to sit down at the table together. For a while I grieved over this. I longed to have everyone together, even if just that the news, or comments, or conversations be heard by everyone at the same time. But gradually the Lord prompted me to be grateful for those who could be at our table at any particular time. And even to enjoy the occasions when just my husband and I were alone for a meal. The variety has been an opportunity to focus on each one and appreciate the more intimate times. I do rejoice and make a note, however, when all of us plan - or happen - to be around the table together!

    1. I'm glad you get to enjoy them individually and together, Beth Ann!

  4. Enjoy your years together if you still have them. Laugh lots - that's the glue for families.

  5. Enjoy them while they are home.
    Laugh lots - it's like glue that sticks families together.

  6. I told my kids that they cannot leave the "circle of safety"...a two hour radius from my house! Of course we'll see how long that lasts!! Until they are fully grown, I try to cherish the time we spend together every day. Thanks for the reminder. Want to check out the book too!! :)

    1. Thanks, Kim! I told my kids to go to the four corners of the earth and I would come visit them! I didn't fully grasp the implications of that, though.

  7. Sounds like something I will need to check out. I am always looking for ways to implement family time at the table:)

  8. My own babies are 9, 4, and 2 and dinner is so hectic. I am up and down out of my chair trying to fill everyone's requests for more ketchup, another drink, a second helping, etc. I do try to stop and live in the moment cherishing this time because I know it is fleeting. Sometimes it is hard to remember that THESE are the "good old days" when I am so busy as a wife and working mom too! Thanks for the reminder! May God bless your grown babies in all their adventures!


    1. Rebecca,
      I well remember the "mob" effect when all four were home and talking at once! God bless you as you go through this stage that you will soon be looking back on with nostalgia!

  9. Lovely post! I was an only child growing up and my husband has five siblings. I love being surrounded by his family, any of his family. I love the cohesiveness, and the chaos, and everything else that goes along with mealtime in his parent's home.
    I would imagine your children are making some great memories anytime any of them dine with one another. Those stories are still told even if not everyone is present to hear them.
    Truly, lovely post.

  10. I think it would be too sad to know you were eating together for the last time. My smart daughter-in-law suggested we take a four-generation photo of my father-in-law, my husband, our son and brand new grandson and I'm so glad she did. It was the last time all four generations were together.



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