“Nonnie, are we going we going to be eating at the outside table or at the celebration table?” This was the question from my oldest granddaughter when she was just four. It had never been called the celebration table before, but that describes it perfectly. And so, it would be called forever more.
You see, since becoming a mother, I always dreamed of the big family table. A table that would seat my children, their spouses, and their children around it. When we purchased our big house 12 years ago, we had a large formal dining room and I was on the hunt for the perfect table. The big family dining table of my dreams.
I fell in love with a 60-inch square table that had two leaves and extended out to be five by thirteen feet. This table would be big enough for everyone to fit around. They all fit and we used the big family table a lot!
Many memories were made around that table. Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas breakfasts, Easter brunches, and birthdays were all celebrated there. The most memorable celebration was my oldest daughter’s wedding.
My daughter and son-in-law were married in our living room with 50 of their closest friends and family. The celebration table served as the wedding party table for the reception. At the table, my daughter and her brand-new husband were toasted, given blessings, and laughed right after tying the knot.
A few short years later, the seats around the celebration table started to fill up. My first granddaughter (the one who named it the celebration table) joined us. She was followed by her sister and her brother. A couple years after that a daughter-in-law filled a seat. That made 10 of us around the table. My family had doubled!
The dream I envisioned when I was a young mom had come true. My children with their children all sitting around the table. I loved that table so much. Not because it was a nice piece of furniture, but because of what it represented. Family, a dream come true, and love.
When we relocated to California, I brought the celebration table with me. Because we were not able to buy a house before the move, it came along. I knew my house would be drastically smaller. But, I didn't know if it would have a dining room or not. Maybe I would get to keep it.
When we were purchased our little 920 square-foot urban cottage, the celebration table was going to have to leave me. This was THE hardest thing I had to let go of when we downsized our home. It still makes my heart ache writing this.
I can tell myself it is just a table. Material things don't matter. New memories will be made around different tables. However, my heart isn't following and I miss my celebration table.