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Memories Matter

The new year is upon us! As we prepare for 2022, use this poem written by Touchmark at Coffee Creek resident Dana Tramba as a way to inspire reflection on and gratitude for memories you've made throughout 2021. Told from the perspective of a kitchen table that spent over forty years in the home of Dana and her family, this poem exemplifies how small and sometimes seemingly insignificant events can create memories—and years—that matter.      
 
Memories Matter  

By Dana Tramba, Touchmark at Coffee Creek Resident
 
 
I was used, abused,  
Spilled on and climbed on.  
The family I lived with consisted of  
A man, a woman, and two sons.  
   
For a while, you could not see me.  
They camouflaged me with piles of clean diapers,  
Then came piles of clean laundry that waited  
To be sorted and folded – sometimes for days.  
   
The doorbell rang, and she shoved piles aside for coffee with neighbors.    
At a moment's notice, I was ready for the 4-H, scout, or scrapbooking projects.  
I was the runway for building and flying model airplanes.  
He helped little boys build model rockets.    
   
Vacation time, the couple was busy making lists    
I held maps, Coleman lanterns, and camping and fishing gear.    
A week later, they returned—tired.  
They covered me with smelly clothes and soiled gear to sort and clean.  
   
They played card games, laughed, yelled, and screamed.  
Other times they quietly put jigsaw puzzles together.  
They sewed, colored, and tied macrame for plants.  
Soon I was covered with glue, paint, potting soil, and thread.  
   
I held birthday parties for little boys.    
There were cakes in the shapes of cars,  
Airplanes, Darth Vader, and E.T.  
They ate hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.  
They dribbled spaghetti.  
   
It was chaos when little boys squirted me with water guns  
And Jell-O dripped off the ceiling, landing on me.  
They giggled in innocence, watching him climb up a ladder and clean the ceiling  
Asking, "How did Jell-o get up here?"    
   
It was like a circus with cats and dogs fighting under me.  
Hamsters ran in circles on top of me.  
Birds chirped in their cages, feathers flew  
While fish swam quietly in their bowl.  
   
I helped change the appearance of the dining room  
By holding wallpaper and design books.  
Then I held wallpaper and paint supplies    
Soon beautiful walls surrounded me.  
   
My wardrobe consisted of autumn leaves for Thanksgiving.  
Red and green with candles for Christmas.  
At Easter, it was pastel-colored bunnies and eggs.  
For Valentine's Day, I dressed in red and served chocolate candy.  
   
People surrounded me for surprise parties,  
Birthday and anniversary celebrations.  
Sometimes I was formal; other times, informal with paper plates.  
My favorite was the romantic candlelight dinners for two.  
   
Her friends gathered. Together they canned food.  
Made jelly, froze peaches, and pitted cherries.  
They made pastel-colored mints for weddings.  
I listened while they shared their love stories.  
   
Mail was piled on me until there was time  
To sit down and read it.    
I was essential to sorting bills and receipts  
While he prepared taxes.  
   
I was an educational tool.  
While they taught their children good manners,  
I held books for wiggly boys as they    
Eventually completed their homework.  
   
First, the typewriter sat on me,  
Then they traded it for a computer.  
They learned the newest technology,  
While late bloomers achieved new degrees.  
   
They prepared Christmas letters for mail.  
Later addressed Valentine's Day cards.  
They planned ladies retreats and surrounded me,    
Holding hands and praying for friends.  
   
She inserted my leaves so there was more room to gather.  
I met pilots, nurses, secretaries, carpenters, teachers.  
Also preachers, sorority sisters, and social workers.  
There were doctors, accountants, and homemakers.  
   
I hosted people from all corners of the world.  
Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Germany, Korea,  
Japan, India, Italy, China, France, and the Philippines.  
I was amongst world peace and fellowship.    
   
Little boys outgrew their shirts. She could not give them away.  
So, I held a sewing machine for days,  
While she made t-shirt quilts for snuggling under    
To help preserve their memories.    
   
New people gathered and wrote their memoirs.  
As years passed, tears and laughter surrounded me.  
We started missing extended family    
As together, they wrote condolences and thank you notes.  
   
She lovingly polished me, and I felt a teardrop.    
She thanked me for the memories I helped make.    
My people moved. They said goodbyes  
After a long month of packing.  
   
I learned my lessons well and am ready to serve my new family.  
I was a foundation for making memories.  
Because—memories matter!  
I was a faithful kitchen table. 

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