Food and family are always intertwined – but never more so than when we had dinner with Mike’s brothers Patrick and Raymond on the evening they arrived in the D.C. area. They had flown in from Vegas and Cheyenne, Wyoming, respectively, to join Mike and me for their mum’s interment at Arlington National Cemetery the next day. We would be reuniting Evelyn with her husband of over 50 years who’d died in 2003. She’d passed away in early 2012, and it’d taken until now for everyone’s schedules to match up.
I Googled our eating options that night and found Mamma Lucia, an Italian place close to our campground and Patrick and Raymond’s hotel. It didn’t click at the time, but I now realize that the choice significant.
First. the name. We ate at Mamma’s the night before burying their mama. Then, the choice of Italian food. Their dad was full Italian. He was known for his homemade meatballs, which he prepared every week for Sunday dinner.
With a simple and unplanned meal, we gathered as a family, paying tribute to a very special couple and celebrating Evelyn’s life one last time before finally laying her to rest.