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Dinner at 6:00 p.m. every night …

I look back to that time in our lives when the kids were young – we had no idea of the lifelong memories that we would create or the traditions that would be established. All we knew was that we found great comfort in the continuity – of us, our family. Of course adjustments had to be made as they grew older and schedules became more diverse and demanding but our “gathering table” time remained a priority and we always found our way to end each [busy] day – assembled with one another.

When you gather together as a family and share a meal – the focus is not the food but a time for being deliberate with your moments in life – with your children. It was a time that both David and I guarded – they meant everything to us and we valued our time with them. There is such an importance of family meal time together, it gave us the time to share our highs – lows of the day with one another. Discuss concerns and address “family stuff”. It was also during those times that we initially prompted their interests to take a closer look at the world in which they were eagerly chasing in their young lives – to become apart of. Thought provoking conversations that transpired between us developed their curiosity in life, gathering established a mutual respect and connected us as family – not to mention some pretty good shared feasts, but there were also lean times and we ate accordingly …

It was suggested in a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association that parental connectedness was the single biggest factor we as parents do in protecting our children from adolescent risks. We fought for our time by juggling schedules, work, sports and other commitments and the message was clear and profound in their lives – that our family was priority. It translated into Sunday dinners well after they were grown and gone from our home and it serves as a basis for how we continue to gather and break bread with one another. Their Dad is no longer seated at head of the table and his presence is very missed in the midst of our company – but his legacy continues when we honor the importance of gathering as a family. There is laughter and tears as we remember our days of “Dinner at 6” …

Family ~ a link to our past, a bridge to our future.
“No matter the distance between us – physical or emotional – there will always be one in the world who knows the heart of me in a way that no other can. And should I ever know real trouble in my life they will suddenly appear beside me to hold my hand in theirs” – Anthony Brandt
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