Sunday Supper with Grandma

I don’t know what it was like for you, but in my family, Sunday’s were relegated to family time. It meant a weekly trip toNorman Rockwell, "Freedom from Want" Pittsburgh to have dinner with my grandparents and whatever family could join in. I spent my first 13 years at Mellon Street in East Liberty, every Sunday. It was the ritual.

The routine included my attending Sunday school, picking up awesome Italian lunch meats from DeLallo’s in Jeannette, and fighting over the Pittsburgh jaunt. It really wasn’t my father’s favorite thing to do. Although, the trip often included stops at local jobbers where he could pick up stock to supplement his stores inventory. Dad owned a mens and boys clothing store in downtown Jeannette. After lunch, we all packed into the car and made the 28 miles drive.

The visit was for my mother. And whatever Ruthie wanted, Charlie was ultimately happy to oblige.

I remember those days fondly. After my mother died, I did everything I could to continue the tradition. Stepping into her shoes, I needed to make keep that the family connection. And, like my mother before, my dad was happy to reluctantly go along.

The aunts, uncles and cousins weren’t as eager to join. My mother, it seems, was the glue that kept us together. Without her, they didn’t see the need to keep the ritual. They had their own families and they were making new traditions of their own.

Since it was important to me, I made the calls, made sure that we were invited to family functions, and basically kept the ball rolling. While I had some resentment, I thought that being with us was too difficult for them. My father was depressed. I looked and acted like my mother. And we were a constant reminder of everyone’s lose. Right of wrong, it was the way things were to be.

What’s your experience?

Henceforth, I’d like Sunday’s to be “Family Supper Day” on my Mom and I Blog. I’m looking for guest posts. I hope that you’ll share your stories with us.  You can send your post to MomandIBlog(at) Every Sunday, I’ll tell your story.  You can always add a comment. I appreciate all of the input that I’ve gotten so far. Keep it coming.


Filed under Aging Parents, Baby Boomer, Death, Death of a parent, early parent loss, Mommy Blog, Senior Lifestyle

5 Responses to Sunday Supper with Grandma

  1. Brian

    This is a lovely reflection upon your mother and time with family. Seems like we always enjoyed meals together — my father and mother first, then my brother came around later (he..11 years my junior). After I went on to college, military and grad school, dinners together were rarer. My own family tried to sustain the tradition and we succeeded until the kids got to be teenagers and my son, especially, decided to become a vegan and refused to eat with the “meat-eaters.” Now, with son and daughter living many states apart, its only Terry and I who can enjoy a Sunday meal together.

  2. ted

    We never really ate much as a family. Most of my meals growing up came out of a microwave or served to me on a McDonald’s tray. Though my mom was never very far, her lack of interest in cooking (laziness, really) made me happier to see the Domino’s guy than I was her. Holiday food fests were unpleasant and chaotic, except for the ones had at restaurants, but untimately anything but festive. I often wonder if my lack of affinity as an adult (as well as when a child) for my parents or siblings has something to do with this.

  3. Ted,
    Thanks for your note. I understand. My mother, while a great cook, didn’t care much for it. She was too busy with her career. My dad was a meat and potato guy. She was more adventuresome and tended to cook for his palate, when she cooked. While we weren’t a McDonald’s family, there weren’t many around, we did go to Big Boy at least once a week and out for pizza other nights. She loved filet mignon, rare and we headed to another favorite dining spot for that. I also have her to thank for my love of crab meat. Her favorite was a dish called crab imperial. Because my dad was always working, dinner at home wasn’t much. I often dined in the back room of the store or at the neighborhood diner, the Olympia. Dad had lunch at the Olympia every day. My mother’s “grab and go” attitude towards dinner at home was part of her charm. I’m guessing that I’m a few years older than you. In the 60s, my friends all envied me because we ate out all of the time. I never remember delivery. I’m not even sure if it was around. When I wanted a home cooked meal, I ate at my friend Kathy’s home. Her mother was Italian and a great cook. There was always something good on the stove or in the refrigerator. Back then, the neighborhoods in small towns were safe. They rarely locked the door and I was known to go to her home, raid the refrigerator and then head on home.

    Thanks for sharing your memories. My guess regarding your “lack of affinity towards your parents and siblings” has everything to do with what went on. As my dad always said (of my grandmother when I complained), she does the best that she can do. What an amazing guy. So accepting. Too bad its easier said than done. Bon Appetit. Let the future make happier memories for you. Peace.

  4. Hi Brian,
    Great to hear from you. Thanks for sharing. I can imagine that you enjoyed family meals as a child. As we grow, move and have families of our own, things certainly do change. I’ve had other friends with children who became vegan and it’s always a challenge, especially at the holidays. Many of them started preparing vegan meals just to accommodate. I know that you’d like to spend more time with the kids and their living in different states is hard. It’s always that way. Lee’s mother still struggles with his being so far away and he hasn’t lived at home for almost 40 years! He talks to her often as I do Celia. The best thing that’s happened to her is that she moved into a great assisted living place and has a new family to enjoy meals with. Being alone is for the birds. I’m glad that you and Terry have each other. It can be lonely out in the farm lands of Ohio!
    Happy Easter!
    (For those reading, Brian and I went to Kent State University together in the 70s. We’ve been good friends ever since.)

  5. Barbara Perlstein nee Grivna

    Lovely Cindy

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