Unbeknownst to my parents, my older sister and I would wink and stick our tongues out at each other, or kick each other with our feet while trying to get the other to laugh. Whomever squealed, would get in trouble by the blessing sayer.
But it was also during those blessed meals with eyes closed and heads bent, my sister would reach over to my knee and softly press three fingers one at a time on the top of my leg.
It was our code.
Or I guess you say it was handed down from my Grandmother and Mother.
One of those things you'll never forget and always remember. Each finger pressed, meant one word. "I love you."
And we would always both look up and smile at each other, because then in that moment, you'd remember the faces of those loved and lost and still present and you'd remember each other.
And still to this day I'd surprise my sister with those three words from fingers pressed and she still smiles and remembers.
Those were the days.
Grace was blessed and the blessed sayer would pray for country and men and friends and foe and for blood that washed away sins, never forgetting to give praise to the glory of a good God.
The blessings always seemed to be the same with different words placed sporadically here and there with the usual ending of, "Amen" and a chime in from Mama who would say, and "Thank you God for this food," as if the blessing itself had forgotten to bless the food.
Those were the days. Those days of endless evening meals, dish wash after supper.
One would wash.
One would dry and one would inspect, of course that was the blessing sayer as well.
You'd never think it, that something so ordinary as saying grace becomes a blessing with many memories made talked around tables and across plates.
A blessing that can be had by all, by all who give grace.