#125 The Kitchen Table

by Terry Hojnacki

The center of my world was in front of me. I sat down and spread my arms across the wooden table. The family came together here. Good times. Chaotic times. Emotional times. Life times. The kitchen table was where we gathered. Many birthday cakes were shared at this table. Many holiday meals endured. Here we celebrated life and death. A bottle of Polish vodka surrounded by shot glasses meant everyone drank – toasting the life of someone dear.

I closed my eyes. I heard children laughing as we ate. I saw the tears of a child struggling with their homework. I smelled the glue used to finish the science project. I felt the gentle touch of my daughter’s hand as we mourned the loss of our pet. It was different now. For the first time in thirty years, I took the leaf out of the table. The children were grown.

It took days for anyone to notice.

I resisted objections and kept the table downsized.

My life revolved around this table, my husband, and my children. My life had not revolved around me. Am I being selfish? Maybe.

I set the table one last time.

In the center of it, I placed limes, a salt shaker, and a bottle of tequila surrounded by shot glasses for my husband and three children. On the bottle, I hung a small card with gold ribbon.

“I love you all, but my job is done. Celebrate.”


Anonymous said...


Jerris Rosenthal said...

I loved it...and wanted to read more!

Lynda Richey said...

Great job! I loved the short, crisp sentence structure; left a vivid picture in my mind. Fabulous, warm subject matter. Terri makes you feel as if you are inside her memories.

bobby capra said...

It was wonderful with your words of emotion and quick demonstration. Very moving.

Terry Hojnacki said...

Thank you so much for posting your comments. It's exciting to read what others think of my story. This is the first time I've entered the Lascaux contest and I'm impressed by the many talented authors participating.