Catherine’s Table stories explore the heart of a family, the soul in quiet living, and the power of love. I also write about living with mental illness because sharing stories opens minds.
Catherine’s Table is named in honor of my Aunt Kay who is my second mom. She taught me how to find joy and comfort in everything we did. I spent countless summer nights at her table where I learned what it means to be a family.
What Love Looks LikeMaureen Goldman
Love is love. It’s not something you bottle or define, but it is everywhere. Look around, and you’ll feel love in some form. For me there are endless symbols of love in our garden and many inside our home. The blooms, the photos and mementos of childhood. The big and the small dog.
Symbols of love are the same and different for you and me. We all feel it through hearts we have in common. We all see it in images and objects. However, for you, the key to love may be in a locket, and for me in the size of the sky.
I think the little symbols of love are the most precious and endearing, like the weedy bloom my son Matt picked from a neighbor’s lawn and brought to her door when he was four. It also looks like the long floral dress Matt bought me at a neighborhood yard sale when he was nine. That little symbol of love is still in my closet and always will be. Love also looks like the juicy toddler kisses Emma gave me when I finished her last bedtime story or the deep thanks that came from her little four-year-old voice when we made our first Thunder Cake. The loving gestures from small children can almost break your heart with their honesty and tenderness.
And then there are the indelible moments when your children show they love each other. You see them hug or you listen in on a backseat conversation when one child is comforting the other. The world stops spinning for a moment so you can feel the love.
Matt and Emma Many Moons Ago
My children Matt and Emma are 29 and 25 now, nothing like children. Their love is quieter, and it comes in unexpected ways. You must be ready to catch it. Matt served me some recently when he called just to say hi and see how I was doing. Anytime Emma asks to climb in bed with me and watch a movie, I feel loved.
When Matt and Emma come home, I put little symbols of love in their rooms. Maybe Hershey’s Kisses in a small ceramic bowl or flowers from the yard by their bed sides. I believe that it’s the little things that matter most. You can grasp them whole and set them right in your heart. A routine like putting candy by a bed may not seem like much in the moment, but over time it becomes a precious memory. My neighbor never forgot the day Matt brought her a dandelion from her front yard. She mentioned it well into her 90s.
We’re getting ready to sell our home of 25 years. For the last few weeks,