Family Dinner Night
September 11, 2001 was an unforgettable day in history. It was a horrific, life-changing day for all of us. What is not known is that for our family, September 12, 2001 was a another life-changing day. I was emotional and knew that I needed to do something. I do not know why I thought this up, but it came to me and I ran with it, and I'm so thankful I did. I decided that since both sides of our family live fairly close together, and it was a shame that we only saw each other two or three times a year, I figured why not have a monthly dinner gathering. I wrote a letter and sent it out to everyone in the family. Since our very first Family Dinner Night in October after 9/11, we have gathered nearly every single month... missing just a handful over the years.
It is always at our home and I am the coordinator. We pick a "theme" and it evolves from there. We do Italian, Mexican, BBQ, appetizers and more. I send an email with an idea of the main dish and then everyone responds with what they would like to contribute. Mom absolutely loved these family gatherings. Four years after we started this, Mom surprised me by giving me the letter I had sent years earlier - all framed up beautifully. Just the fact that she kept the letter over the years, was so Mom... she was a very thoughtful lady. Guests are always welcome... our motto is "the more the merrier." We have had small groups and large groups with as many as 36 people for the get-together. Mom loved to bring special recipes. She enjoyed seeing everyone and visiting when we were together. She always called the day after to tell me how much fun she and Dad had. We have had casino nights, bingo nights, bocce ball games, bowling nights, candy nights, and we even had a band perform once. We have had special guests from out of town and Mom always made them feel welcome, so welcome in fact that they continue to come to this day. We miss Mom's presence; she was always so full of life at these gatherings...
One year after we began...
The back of the framed letter - see Mom's sweet note.
Eight years after it all began - I made scarves for everyone.
Two days after the others got their scarves - Mom got hers.