I’m a kitchen table person. For me it’s a place for eating of course but also for work, for artwork, for projects. It’s a place to sit to work out the hard stuff- budgets, taxes, college funds. It’s a place for playing games and discussing rules and consequences. Its one of the places we laugh the most. It’s the heart of my home.
My kitchen table belonged to my paternal grandmother. This woman impacted me throughout my life. Grandma told me stories that I still retell today. Recited poems that made me want to write my own, loved her God so big and so hard that she inspires my faith daily. My Grandma made me laugh when she “found her voice” at age 80 and said what she thought the moment she thought it (some of you are laughing because I do that now at age 41.) Not a week goes by that I don’t hear her guiding me. Early on after Patrick died I heard her most everyday saying “This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it…now get up Heather.” And I got up and I got going. Her table is a link to her after all the many years since she left this earth.
Tomorrow however, this table will leave my home and begin it’s 4th residence at my cousin’s home. With his wife- a new family. It’s the right thing to do as my family grows, but I’m still a little misty tonight.
As I sit here writing this post I think about the countless meals that have been eaten around the table. First for 40+ years in my Grandma’s kitchen, then in the teeny tiny dining room of our starter home and for the last 11 years in the kitchen of this home- my safe place. I’ve eaten at the table right after coming home from the hospital with each child. I’ve eaten there when times were hard financially, when times were happy, when sadness crept in. I’ve sat at that table and labored over science projects and math homework with my eldest child and as my youngest child learned to write his name. I’ve celebrated each child’s birthday at that table. I’ve sat at that table with some of my closest friends and family and tried to open my mouth to chew- because when you are grieving sometimes you just can’t chew or swallow…or breathe. I sat at that table with just myself and my kids and pretended it was normal to have that empty 4th chair until one day- it actually was normal.
The last number of months I’ve sat at that table with my children, my fiancée and his daughter as we began the journey of becoming a new family. Just like all the other journeys in my life it is also full of ups, downs, twists and turns but I have solid faith in love, my chapter 2 and my future.
Tomorrow that table and its 4 chairs will leave for John and Lindsay’s- for new meals and new memories and a little piece of Grandma. Tonight though I will sit here and write, cry and remember. I Love You Grandma- I think you’d be proud of all of us!
The most treasured heirlooms are the sweet memories of family. ~Author Unknown