In it of itself, a table is no extraordinary thing.
It is, in fact, just four legs and a surface for placing our stuff.
But recently, I was looking at pictures and began to see tables in a different way.
I found them to be constant, unnoticed guests.
At first dates,
and fifth dates,
and five hundred and fiftieth dates.
They were there for Joe’s 20’s birthday party (we had only been dating for 3 months)
And there for our son’s 1st.
We share our lives over tables.
Our everyday, kid crazy lives.
Tables are often present to observe a stolen kiss…
Hear an embarrassing story
Or an epic saga.
They are there when we share our big news!
Surprise, we’re pregnant!
Tables stay to find out who wins the Texas Hold ’em tournament,
even when all the sore losers go home.
Sometimes, a table is where we learn patience…
Daddy’s need patience too.
Tables are guests at every wedding (even the ones that were forever ago).
And they get all dressed up for special occasions, just like us.
Meal after meal,
you never know when it will be the last time everyone will be there to pull up a chair.
At this occasion, just last Spring, we are all together to take family pictures.
And then we set the table.
The photographer stays to catch a few pictures of the task.
We find linens that match and drag chairs from other rooms.
We wonder if it is worth the fuss.
And it is.
We spend the evening laughing. a lot.
We ask good questions of our honored and oldest guests.
We strain to hear their answers. He gets choked up at one point, telling us his hopes and fears, his desire to live long enough to take care of his wife.
We get teary eyed at his vulnerability, his sincerity,
but we let him off the hook, blaming it on the wine.
And again, we laugh.
We don’t know it then, but it will be his last evening with her, his wife of more than half a century.
Tomorrow morning she will pass away.
But that night, around the table, we are all together and there is so much love.
So, next time you are around a table, stop, and take in who is there
and leave a little room for who is not.
But don’t forget that tables make these
sitting down, stuffing our faces, good conversations, and forever memories possible.