Saying Grace

Prayers at the dinner table will always hold special meaning.  In truth we’ve never been diligent in our prayers.  Scripted words of thanks and blessing never seemed heartfelt.  Instead we left our prayers to our actions and the love we had for our children.  So when we’d say the occasional “grace” around the holidays or on Sundays at Grandpa-Grandpa’s house the girls would never know how to act.  Grace always thought we were talking about her when we’d ask who wanted to say “grace” while Elena waited for her opportunity to fold her hands and be the leader.  Soon the anticipation was too great.  Elena had her turn.


The room was silent (or as quiet as it gets with 20 loud relatives) as Elena began.  “I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America….”  No one said a word.  Aunts flinched, Grandmas nodded while Brooke and I couldn’t help but laugh.  At the time, no one thought it was funny except us.  It seems that with all of her practicing to say the pledge of allegiance at school in the morning, this was the only prayer that she knew.  At least it contained “one nation under God”.  Maybe that was our best chance at a prayer.


I think about this now as we sit down at the dinner table at home.  God is on our minds with the Lenten season in full swing.  And while we still don’t fold our hands in prayer as much as should, the fish brings back memories of the seat left vacant by her death.  Grace and Mom always ate meat on Fridays, unfazed by my Catholic presence, while Elena happily joined me with a plate of fish and plenty of tartar sauce.  She too hated fish, but would never leave me eating alone.  That was just Elena.

3 Responses to “Saying Grace”

  1. colleen says:

    such a sweet girl…not wanting her daddy to eat the fish alone…just shows what a special kid Elena was….

    your family is always in my thoughts…and prayers 🙂

  2. Theresa says:

    I know just how you feel, being Catholic too and having lost a child to a brain tumor. Praying has taken a back seat to everything else in life. When Michael was sick, I prayed for God’s will, not that he receive a miracle and live. I wonder if I did the right thing even now. Now I pray for God’s will in my life hoping that it means I’ll see Michael again soon.

  3. Courtney says:

    wow, i couldnt help but laugh when i got the the \plega allegiance\ part.. I will never go one more day at school saying it without thinking of you or your family (: your all in my prayers..