The table once owned by my beloved great-grandmother hasn’t been in my possession for almost 7 years. My darling and I moved from the old farmhouse, with dedicated formal dining room space, into our cabin, which barely had a bump-out for an eat-in kitchen table.
My mother agreed to store the table for me in her basement. Jay and I always knew the cabin would serve as a transitional home for us. We owned acreage near my family and had dreams of building a forever home. When we did, we would retake possession. Mamaw’s table, including the chairs my father reupholstered, would go into the dining room where we would use it for family gatherings.
This week, we packed up the cabin and moved. We left our cabin table behind, the new buyers also purchasing the furniture. Our new home came furnished as well, with perfectly selected pieces that maximize the smaller space.
Over the past 7 years, my mother has used the table to serve at family at holiday gatherings. My sister and her family used it when they lived in my parents’ basement when they moved to the area.
This week, days after moving all of our worldly possessions, we met with an architect to take the first steps towards the dream home. Over lunch, we discussed what we wanted in a house, and he did a rough sketch, allowing him to ask questions.
We will have no formal dining room. That’s not really our style. When I have guests, we put up camp chairs, use red solos and paper plates.
Dusting off the old table of Jay’s great-grandfather, I had no trouble telling him that when family heirlooms stop being useful and start needing a logical plan for long-term storage, they are no longer treasures.
The same is true for me. I loved my mamaw. Giving away her table doesn’t lessen that love. She wouldn’t have wanted me to be burdened, for her memory’s sake.
Saying goodbye is hard. Even when the person has been gone for almost two decades. I’m thankful for the time I spent around that table, both in her home and on my own. My mamaw has been a blessing in my life, and her memory extends far beyond a single piece of furniture.