I Remember Sunday: God’s Special Gift of Memories


Van and I started packing with a vengeance today. Of course, many things hold memories-a special gift from God. They bring joy, mostly. One of the things I tucked into a box was a notebook titled, A Garden of Memories for Mom, full of poems and stories I wrote in honor of her seventieth birthday. This week marks six months since Mom went home to Jesus. I miss her every day. And since it’s Sunday, I remember our traditional Sunday afternoon dinners, family time. Precious memories and traditions that often get passed on to future generations.

I Remember Mom Cooking the Sauce

I remember every Sunday, Mom poured the tomatoes into the dull, gray pot, and squished them between her fingers. She crushed basil leaves in the palm of her hand, sprinkling them into the tomatoes. Then she shook a few flakes of crushed red pepper, stirred everything together, and covered the sauce with a lid. By the time we left for church, the rich, red sauce bubbled on the stove. As we walked out the door, Mom turned down the blue gas flame so it simmered gently all morning.

I Remember Joe’s Italian Store

I remember every Sunday, we stopped at Joe’s Italian Store on our way home from church. As soon as we opened the door, the aroma of cheese, lasagna, salami, and pepperoni greeted us. We stood and examined the ten cent candy bars, knowing we could each have one. While we chose our treat, Mom talked to Joe. She chose the pasta we took home for dinner and a loaf of unsliced Italian Twist, covered with sesame seeds. Sometimes we needed a pound of Romano cheese, which Joe grated with his big, shiny machine.

“See you next week,” we told Joe on our way out the door.

I Remember Helping Mom

I remember every Sunday, we walked through the back door. Mom dropped the brown bag from Joe’s on the kitchen counter and changed from her Sunday dress before she came back to the kitchen. She lifted the lid of the simmering sauce pot, and the steam filled the whole kitchen with the smell of the red, bubbling sauce. She tasted the sauce, then added meat balls, sausage, spareribs and braciole. Even though she covered the pot again, the smell of the sauce permeated the house for the rest of the afternoon.

I remember every Sunday, Mom asked me to fill the cheese container. If I found the small rectangle of unrated cheese Joe left on top of the white mountain of finely grated Romano, I popped it into my mouth and savored the sharp tang that spread over my tongue. Mom never made me share that deliciousness with anyone else.

I remember every Sunday, Mom called me into the kitchen to help set the table for dinner. She put the pasta of the week–spaghetti, shells, ziti, bow-ties, stove pipes–on a plate and topped it with the thick, red sauce. I carried each plate to the table. Then she filled a huge platter with the meat, and I added a basket of the sliced Italian twist, the salad, and the cheese container. Daddy, Mom, Keith, Robyn, and I sat in our places around the table and bowed our heads. “God is great; God is good; let us thank Him for our food. Amen.”

I Remember Learning from Mom

I remember every Sunday, Mom let us drink Coca-Cola instead of milk. The fizzy bubbles tickled my tongue, throat and nose as I swallowed the sweet, icy cold, brown liquid. I savored every swallow; there wouldn’t be more until the next Sunday.

I ate my Sunday dinner like Mom–pasta first, then we dipped our bread into the sauce still on our plates. Finally we ate salad and meat. Sometimes I’d enjoy a second piece of bread, dipping the crust into the salad bowl to relish the tart vinegar that soaked into the bread.

I remember every Sunday, Mom moved back into the kitchen. She poured any left over sauce into a glass jar and added any left over meat. “It’s good starter for next week,” she said. Then she’d put the pasta she cooked for our German Shepherd, Schatzi, in her bowl. Finally, Mom took some time to rest in the family room with Daddy while Robyn and I finished the dishes.

I remember every day of the week, Mom made us feel loved and special with her delicious meals and loving care.

Family memories hold joy. They shape us and our favorite traditions get passed on to future generations.

What are traditions you cherish? Memories you hold dear?

Linking this week with God-sized Dreams Moments of Hope Glimpses of Beauty, Monday Musings, Inspire Me Monday, Ra Ra Linkup, Trekking Thru, Tell His Story, Writer Wednesday, Woman to Woman, Porch Stories, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community, Heart Encouragement, Tune-in Thursday, Salt and Light

Author: Debbie Putman

I am a child of God, seeking to trust Him in every joy and sorrow. Sharing my walk is my husband, Van. God blessed me with two beautiful daughters and three delightful grandchildren. I teach seventh grade English and History, love to read and bake cookies, watch the birds in my backyard, and the ocean.

24 thoughts on “I Remember Sunday: God’s Special Gift of Memories”

  1. Memories truly are a gift. They shape us and give us hope because in them we have the gift of remembering what He has done before and can and will do again. Thank you so much for sharing hope with us at #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,

  2. This brought soooo many memories to the surface as I come from an Italian/Irish family and the Italian won on the cooking side of things although that was my Grandpa. But he taught Grandma just how to make that sauce and the ravioli. My mother grew up in Chicago and shopped at the green grocer, the Italian grocer, and so many others. I can think of her delight right now and will ponder this for some time. May have to make some ravioli soon!! Been awhile.

    1. Linda, ravioli wasn’t something we ever ate at home. I’ve never found another Italian store like Joe’s. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Awe, what precious memories. I’m a sentimental soul, so I loved reading your Sunday memories, thanks for sharing, Debbie. (Did you happen to get my email about sending your address info so I can send the mug you won? 🙂 ) Hope your packing goes well. ((graces))

    1. Thanks, Brenda. I sent you an email today regarding the mug. Can’t wait to use it on my new front porch. . . Or better yet, let someone else use it when they stop by. I’ll share a plate of Italian knots, too. Another tradition.

    1. We had some form of pasta with red sauce every Sunday. On Christmas Eve, we have lasagna and fried bread. I passed these traditions on to my daughters.

  4. What beautiful memories you have of your mom. I remember my mom cooking a roast in the pressure cooker, with me being afraid it would explode. ha. I finally got rid of my own pressure cooker after never using it. 🙂

    1. My mom used a pressure cooker frequently, so I learned to cook with one. I still use mine; it’s never exploded!

  5. Hi Debbie, your love for your mom is so sweet, as perhaps her sauce was too. I lost my mom many years ago. It is hard sometimes remembering the sweet. Jesus has helped me, though, as I trust He will help you. May God bless your day, Julie

    1. Julie, Jesus does help us in our time of grief.

      You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

      Psalm 56:8 He comforts in so many ways-including His people.

  6. What precious memories. Thank you for sharing with us Debbie – the love you have for your mom and the value of traditions and memories – far beyond any “things.” So sorry for your loss, Moms have a very special place in our hearts..

    1. Thank you, Char. My mom was very special; a good friend as well as my mom. I miss her, but rejoice that she is in heaven.

  7. Such a beautiful tribute and amazing memories!! Isn’t it funny how so many family memories take place around the food we eat? What a blessing.

  8. Oh Debbie … this brings tears to my eyes. I wish I could have known your mom. I wish MY mom could have known your mom … I think they would have had much in common.

    1. Thank you, Lois. I’m sure our mom’s would have enjoyed one another. My mom loved to be around good friends. ((Hugs))

  9. Debbie, your memory is making me hungry for homemade italian! Yum! Thank you for sharing this lovely tradition- you’re so right, memories are such a precious gift from God. What a gift that you can recollect so fondly as you remember your Mom!

Thank you for joining me on my journey with God in uncharted water. Please let me know how He is working in your life.