"Every major conversation I had with the guy during those years occurred in that booth, over lunch. I had quit football suddenly. I'd banged up the car. I'd been in a fight. I'd cashed out my savings bonds without telling him. I'd paid for a girlfriend's abortion. Through all this we ate. In this way, we got through it. Food filled the silences. Onion soup. Escarole and beans. New potatoes flecked with skin. Spinach — always spinach. T-bones. Hard rolls. French fries with grilled onions. Over time, my father told me his share, too: that he'd been married once before, that his new boss had refused to pay him for nearly a year, that his business seemed to be at an end. At these times, I could see that he was eating with a purpose: He ate like he meant it."
I love Tom Chiarella's writing, and this essay he wrote a couple years ago for Esquire, about eating with his father, comes to mind this Father's Day. Read it in entirety here.