When I was growing up, we gathered on Sunday nights for chicken soup. As the family grew and spread out to different cities in the Golden Horseshoe, the tradition stopped. We still had soup at the gatherings of La Famiglia, around holidays or special occasions. Some of the family has resurrected the tradition of Sunday Chicken Soup. It’s not a “big deal”, they say. Only soup, chicken, a vegetable, and some salad. Mike, Child, and I are late additions to the roster, but I look forward to it all week. Child is going to be changing his work availability in January, and he mentioned that he will be booking off Sundays henceforth and anon. Child does love him some soup, but he also loves spending time with his family. Which, in turn, I love.
Before my Uncle Charlie died, he, my dad, and Auntie V went for coffee and sensible muffins every Friday. Three siblings who refused to let time and circumstance create distance between them. Way before that, my dad visited my uncle at his shoe repair shop every Saturday. My sister and I share our laughs over texts, since I’m in Cambridge and she’s in Vancouver, but they happen often – if not as often as either of us would like.
Since I’m welcomed to soup, but I don’t actually have a week in the rotation, I had to scam my way into hosting. I had La Famiglia over for dinner for King Louie’s birthday. No one thought it was ridiculous to celebrate a dog’s birthday, and they all brought him gift bags of milk bones (and 2 prime rib bones, because treats should be awesome). The conversation circles, and we laugh and tease each other, and celebrate each other’s good news. We listen intently to less-good-news, and form support plans for the Intentions of the Week. My cousin said that we are so blessed by the way we all come together in times of need. Whether it’s a ride to the airport, or a place to stay for a few hours, or a support at a difficult doctor’s appointment, my family has mad skills.
This Advent, may we foster the bonds of community at every opportunity. May we find things to celebrate both grand and humble, and may we never pass up a chance to show others that we love them.