Dear Moving Company,
I wanted you to know that I thought of you today. I know it’s been several months (21 to be exact) since you have even thought about my name but I still think about you. I mean really, how could I not?
Today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the wind blew a steady breeze like it does here in Oklahoma. The sun is going down now and it’s a perfect night to eat outside. Do you remember my bright red, wooden picnic table that was sitting in my yard in Maine? I thought it was too big to go. Even though it broke my heart, I was ready to leave it behind. But do you remember what you said? You told me I could take it. You said that it would fit on the truck if I wanted it to go. OF COURSE I wanted it to go!
You see, it wasn’t just a picnic table. It was cook-outs with my neighbor, Memorial Day parties, lobster bakes, huge plates of steamers, corn on the cob and summer nights. It was a failed attempt at a bike ramp. It was a perfect seat when I needed a break from raking leaves. It was laughter, long conversations, friendship and home. I actually danced and almost cried when you told me it could go. Do you remember me now?
Then weeks later, it arrived in Oklahoma. My heart raced with an excitement that I didn’t understand. It was, after all, just a picnic table. Then it dawned on me. That picnic table was going to be the one thing that would instantly transport me home. Then you brought it. Both pieces. But it wasn’t supposed to have two pieces. When you took it from my house it was in one piece. You broke it. Not just broke it but destroyed it. Busted it up beyond repair (and believe me, we tried). You don’t know this but I cried then.
I’ve thought about that table many times in the last two years. Having it destroyed still makes me sad but I realize one thing now. You took the table from me but you can’t touch the memories. Those are still mine and that’s what made that table so precious. You took the picnic table that I was going to sit at to instantly be transported home but you didn’t take home. While you are responsible for moving most things, you don’t move everything. Those moments at that old table are ones that I brought with me.
Next time you move someone, maybe you can be a bit more careful. What looks like just furniture to you, may really be a quick way back home to someone else. I guess what I’m really trying to say is that regardless of what the Army says you aren’t just moving ”Household Goods”. You’re moving memories and lives. Move across the country or half way around the world and you’ll understand how important those “things” suddenly become.
An Army Wife (who will someday own another red picnic table)