It is now twelve years of my life, dinner was taken almost the same hour as my mom was punctual at preparing it. My mom would lead my sister and I in reciting the dinner prayer. She made a great effort to teach us the prayer until the two of us could recite it in unison. Thank you, Father, for your care and provision, Amen. It helped us to know the importance of praying and being thankful to God for the provision of food.
The dining room was our designated place for taking dinner. I kept my eyes on a fix at the yellow-brown floor. Although, I could not tell what exactly my eyes were searching for on the floor. Our dining table was octagon in shape, supported by three poles equal distance from the center. I had my favorite seat as well as my sister which anytime we could come for dinner we could sit on. To one of the sides of the octagon table was a telephone stand near the wall. My father most of the time sat on the seat next to the telephone stand. Any time the telephone rung during dinner, my dad would request the person on the other side to call some time later. We used to make some jokes to mom since the seat she used to sit on was one of the worst and from her position, she could not have a clear view of our twelve-inch television.
Most of the evenings when my father was at home, we could sit long hours watching political or business programs. Those were the favorite programs he used to encourage us to watch. At times my father could explain to us with great zeal different business terminologies, which we encountered on such programs. It is through these programs I learned about the Central Bank, mortgages and stock exchange market how it works. This helped me understand how different stock are converted and how they affect the economy of a country. My sister and I understood very little about politics, but when we asked any form of a question, my dad had so many words to narrate.
Several months passed, with my father appearing for dinner. During the first days, we were enjoying it with my sister as mom could most of the times leave us to watch the programs of our choice. Nervousness could overwhelm my back especially anytime I realized that my mom is receiving a telephone call in the evening. She used to prepare our dinner and resume to her bedroom, without even bothering to take a bite. My sister could hardly notice this due to her age; she loved watching the cartoons. We could watch whatever we thought was our favorite or engage in singing.
When my sister and I wanted to do a few things, my parents gradually incorporated responsibilities during dinner. It was my task to carry dishes from the table after the meal and also to pour the juice or milk as I was stronger and taller than my sister, this taught me how to be a responsible person in future and also be able to serve others. My sister was to set the table in order before and after dinner; she occasionally joined me in washing the dishes though she could not run the dishwasher on herself. A few nights when dad was around, he could tell us to clean the kitchen tables. Through this, I learned that as the elder child I had to take the responsibility of guiding my sister and being a good example to my smaller sister.
My dad started not to appear at the dining table to share a meal with us after some months. My Mum grew fond of requesting my sister or I to bless the food, a culture that had grown. We later improvised our ways of praying, ditching the earlier one. Although at the start we were afraid to merge words into a coherent prayer during the first few days I was sighing heavily. This made us learn the culture of prayer and the importance of saying a simple prayer.
The more my dad became scarce during the time for dinner, the more the dinner grew strange. We began eating Chinese foods as well as funny kind of oats. One of my best friends Teddy, their house was a stone through distance. I could join him as we watched cartoons most of the evenings simply because their meals were much better, I could not stand the new menu at home. Mum kept quite all this period apart from assigning me chores in the evenings. I had to do them since I was unable to question on the changes in almost every bit of my life. I felt depressed with life and viewed it as so cruel since so many changes were happening in a very small span of time.
As time went by my fathers presence became more seasonal, and only a few evenings he was present. Conversations became more complicated and dry as most of the time we could all stay mute. The ideas of business news and politics were no more since we were not watching the television during dinner anymore. Meals became better although dad most of the days within the week was away until one day when he left for good. The beautiful memories of the table, tiled floor, hum of harmony, prayers before dinner, enthusiastic discussion on democrats and republican as well as business ideology all became wishes and just a picture to paint. I now live in a new of three family members. We take our seats around the four legged table with my mother closing her eyes to pray during dinner. My sister and I just bow our heads for our mother to see we are praying.
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