By Rick Hamlin
Grace at Dinnertime
Do you hold hands in your family during grace?
I’ve just spent a week at the beach with my extended family—nieces, nephews, siblings, sibling-in-laws, kids, amazing caregiver Mom and indomitable Dad—and every night at dinner we’ve said grace. Somebody said grace. My dad’s graces are famous for their rambling informative everything-but-the-kitchen-sink quality. Friends used to call them “the six o’clock news.” But my wonderful brothers-in-law can hold their own.
Larry has a lovely quality of opening his heart and telling “Father, God” all he’s grateful for and Mike, warm and irrepressible Mike, always remembers the food and “the hands that have prepared it,” which in our case can be quite a few. It takes a lot of hands and shoppers to feed anywhere from 10 to 25 of us. (Carol says we’ve served over 200 meals for the week…and we’re still counting.)
But I can always tell if Mike’s here or not here because when Mike’s at the table we always hold hands for grace.
I guess it was the tradition in his family and it wasn’t the tradition in mine. Quite frankly, I love the way he does it. When we hold hands around the table or with paper plates in our laps, you can feel the warmth of the family as we warm our spirits and souls in gratitude (balancing dinner in our laps).
A family is a wonderful, changing, growing thing. I’m glad to think that we adopt traditions as new members join us. I give thanks for everyone of them. They’ve all taught me a thing or two.
Like holding hands at grace.
Photo: Mike and Rick