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A Strong Dinner Table

The night we bought our first house, we sat in our furniture-less living room in lawn chairs, eating Imo’s pizza, and by the end of the night we were ripping the 70’s style wallpaper off the walls. It was a dinner of new beginnings, but I believe dinnertime has a higher purpose. I believe that dinnertime is the strongest foundation our family has.

Each Thanksgiving our family puts two dining tables back-to-back so everyone can sit together. After all Thanksgiving is about coming together to share what we are thankful for. It wouldn’t be the same if there was a separate “kids table,” because being with my family is what I love most about Thanksgiving. Which is why each night when we sit down to dinner, I’m reminded of the family I’m so grateful for.

Naturally not all of our dinners are special occasions. Most nights are filled with simple, beautiful conversations about our day. We sit together to enjoy a home cooked meal, without outside pressures because dinnertime is for family. And no matter how much homework I have, I always make sure I have time to sit down with my family because even if it means a late night of homework, I never regret those 45 minutes with my family.

Yet there’s something bigger about family dinners that keep us together even when the winds begin to shake. The night my mom told us that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer; we were at the dinner table. That night ended with many tears shed, but a promise that we would get through whatever came next together. Since then even people outside our family, always made sure dinnertime stayed on the table. People reached out with casseroles and Chinese take-out for when chemo held my mom back, as strong as she is, because it’s as though everyone knew how important dinnertime was to our family. Our journey together started around the dinner table two years ago, and through many more highs and lows, tears and smiles dinnertime has held us together through it all. I can’t say life is back to normal, but each night is still for family dinnertime, even when my mom announced that we need to start valuing every dinner we have left together. I’ve always valued our dinners together. And as much as it hurts me to put a time to our last dinner, know that with the love that our family and friends have put into dinnertime, we will be okay.

My life story could probably be told in a series of dinnertimes, whether they be around our fireplace in the winter, or Thanksgiving around our dining room table. Through even our lowest points, I always know that I have my family behind me and I believe it down to the very bottom of my heart that not only the dinner times we’ve had together but the many to sit down to are the strongest bonds our family has in this world.



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