A member of their family was missing for twelve years. There was no way to search for it or to describe what it meant to someone else. It suddenly was no longer part of the family.
The kids didn’t miss it as much as their mother. She never knew a time when it wasn’t part of her life. She knew every little nick and scratch. It had been the center, the circle for every family gathering.
The story was that when she was very young her father saw an ad for it and the description intrigued him, and they needed one. A round, black walnut Queen Anne table and six chairs for $25.00. He went early in the morning before work and waited for another woman to finally decide she didn’t want it. He quickly paid the owner, and before she could change her mind he took a chair to ensure that when he returned it would still be his!
For the next 35 years it was the center of every family dinner, every dinner party, and every significant family event. No toddler ever failed to find pleasure in crawling around its five rounded posts or just hiding quietly inside its legs. It served as a game table and a serious discussion table. People pounded on it, they made surprise announcements, had heated discussions and huge arguments, and told sad stories.
Now it was part of the daughter’s family and for ten years her four children knew it as the center of their family. But when they moved there was no room for it and suddenly it wasn’t a part of their life. It sat for twelve long years waiting to be a part of the family again, in a special kind of prison, not being used or loved.
The mother always felt that the house was missing something. It seemed to her that the house was not a home without it. Finally, after a much needed makeover the day arrived. Once she saw it in place the mother cried, because now her family was complete, now her house was finally a home.