And That We Were Together
This is my favorite picture of my Dad - I have it framed on the windowsill of my kitchen. He was older in this picture and a little scarred by cancer but his essential warmth and kindness show in this picture.
I was reminded when we had Christmas dinner with our dear friends the Van Horns of the grace that he would say on special occasions around this time in his life . He learned this grace from friends of his and loved it for its message and because it rhymes. He always did like rhymes - Dr. Seuss and Madeline were the books he read to us as children. This grace replaced our former family favorite - "Rub-a-dub-dub, Thanks for the grub, Y-a-a-a-a-y God!" I guess you can tell we weren't overly religious, but we were grateful for all we had. I thought you might find an occasion, however you define "God," to use it during the holidays.
First, you link hands around the table over steaming plates of whatever wonders the kitchen has produced.
"We thank you God for happy hearts,
For rain, and sunny weather,
We thank you God for this our food,
And that we are together."
It was particularly meaningful to me this year because my sister decided on the spur of the moment to join us for Christmas. She lives in North Carolina, clear across this very wide country. She packed up her Honda Civic with her little dog and simply headed out, arriving the day before Christmas Eve. She made the trip in six days, all by herself with no cell phone and no GPS, just maps and a Triptik from AAA. Her brothers and I worried the whole time she was on the road but we needn't have - she was fine and so was the weather.
I am particularly grateful, now that she's on the road back home, to have been together.