As many of you know, after missing every holiday gathering with my family this past year we excitedly planned to celebrate Easter at my parent’s home. Instead, we went to the hospital – again. My mother wrote the most beautiful poem which perfectly expresses our sadness and hope combined:
Set The Table Anyway
I knew I was taking a chance setting the table for Easter two weeks early. But I love to live on the edge! I carefully lifted Gran’s yellow “Rosebud” dishes from the upper shelf. This is an English bone china made by the Grimslade Brothers in 1934, each piece marked and signed, a silent story of its own.
I spent half a day washing and drying the dishes and setting the dining room table with ten place settings. From the buffet, I retrieved the embossed linen napkins that I inherited from Aunt Grace and slipped them into the napkin rings. The silverware was our wedding gift 48 years ago. I loved the entire process ~ especially dreaming that you could be here eating garlic roasted chicken, asparagus, mashed potatoes, hot rolls and lemon cheesecake, filling our antique yellow and green glasses with mint iced tea and our small rosebud cups with hot coffee, cream and sugar.
I imagined the new stories floating around the table and all the laughter that would ensue and then all the groans when Papa started repeating his old family stories over and over. “It’s our inheritance!” he defends himself. Of course he is right. This table, these people hold memories and stories that must be shared to be remembered.
I smiled as I finished the last place setting and stood back to admire the beautiful table. There was a joy deep within me. As it happened, you could not come for Easter. But I still have the table set and I will continue keeping fresh flowers in the three vases.
And each morning I purposefully walk through the dining room and hope and dream. Because one day ~ you are going to eat at my table again. And there will be laughter and there will be groans and all will be good.
“One day everything sad is going to come untrue.” ~ Sam Gamgee, Lord of the Rings
~ Rebecca Crawford Russell
Still waiting for Easter
April 11, 2021