Traditions build strong relationships, the participation of which identifying a person as a member of a unique group. The more exclusive the tradition, the more special the group and the more cherished the tradition. You can have a group without a tradition but you cannot have a tradition without the participation of others.
When our kids were still living at home and Sunday evening rolled around, we’d all gather in front of the television in the family room and watch Touched By An Angel. After they all got older and moved out, the Missus and I kept the tradition alive until the network canceled the show. She and I watch other shows together now but it’s not the same.
Another tradition in our home was the great popcorn ritual. I would make a huge tub of popcorn from which we’d all share while watching television. We’d sometimes also share a monstrous glass of ice water. Good times! The kids are grown and gone and my system doesn’t handle popcorn like it used to so that tradition has also faded away.
One precious tradition was born in our place more than a decade ago when we had some young rescue dogs. The Missus and I would sit down to a sandwich and suddenly be surrounded by furry little beggars, each patiently posing with their cutest face and longing eyes. “No, you are not getting my sandwich but here’s a bead bone.” That’s what we called the bread crust. We’d tear off a piece and give them a treat. It was rare but sometimes we’d get wrapped up in a conversation or television show only to discover that we’d eaten all of the bread bones, leaving nothing for the poor, starving pups. So, if one of us noticed the other person devouring the tasty morsels intended for our babies, we’d remind them of their duty as a loving parent and what remained would be saved and distributed. A turkey sandwich, grilled cheese, or jelly toast, it didn’t matter. If it was bread, the bones were reserved for the fur kids.
Alas, with Buddy’s passing, those bread bone recipients are now gone, (Lucy doesn’t like bread bones) I still find myself subconsciously saving the bread bones from my sandwich and when I realize what I have done, my eyes get puddly. I may have to stop eating bread.
It can be heart-stopping when a tradition ends, can’t it? You know what I’m talking about. I know you do.
As we mourn the passing of one tradition it is important that we start a new one.