It used to belong to my mother-in-law. It used to hold a smattering of ceramic decorations, including her trio of striped vases. I always liked that end table. I always liked those vases.
Now, it sits in our house, instead of hers. Now, it holds my collection of William Saroyan books and a selection of my husband’s old psychology texts. Now, the striped vases provide a splash of color amongst the faded cloth of old book covers.
Now, it also holds memories. Every night, when I sit on the couch with the dogs and face that end table, I am reminded of the quiet conversations I had with my mother-in-law in the weeks before she died. The respite week she spent at the hospice center before returning home was not a highlight in her life, I am sure. However, the moments I spent with her there were some of the only moments I spent alone with her. They are moments I treasure. Moments I am happy to be reminded of as I sit on the couch with the dogs tonight.