I wasn’t anticipating the power that a piece of furniture could hold. Since going to my parents’ house in West Texas in January, I have been trying to get past my feelings of being overwhelmed by all the “stuff” that my parents collected. I have very few needs at this point in my life. Therefore, my father – with my brother’s and my blessing - proceeded with the estate sale.
After the first day of the sale, my dad called to share its success. He started to rattle off the things that had been sold. None of it caused a twinge on my part until he mentioned the game table. It’s strange to think that this game table would be the thing that would get to me. I didn’t have that reaction when Dad told me about the sale of Mom’s sewing machine, where she loved to create unusual clothes. And it wasn’t the iron table with the glass top that had had been part of my childhood memories.
The game table wasn’t a family heirloom. Instead, it had been a part of our family’s lives after Mom had custom-ordered it during one of her international trips approximately 20 years ago. Although rarely used on a daily basis, the table became a focal point during my visits, especially during the holidays. Invariably, one of us would issue a challenge to our version of backgammon. At that point, Mom and I would share a glass of wine, some “trash talking” about who would win, and a lot of laughter. Invariably, she would tell me that I had cheated when I threw doubles. And I’d tell her that she had cheated when she would place my lead piece in “purgatory.”
Perhaps the reason that the sale of the game table is causing this reaction to me is that I realize it symbolizes the good times that I spent with Mom. And it’s now gone. And Mom – whose health is rapidly failing – isn’t far behind.
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Published On: October 24, 2006