It was just an old typing table, hidden in my storage locker under several boxes of books. I vaguely remember putting it there, having moved it from my storage shed at home for some forgotten reason. The moment I saw it, though, even though I wasn’t looking for it, I knew that it was exactly what I needed.
The table had belonged to Mom, who used it in the 1970s when she ran her own personnel service. Once the business closed, it gravitated to our house, and Mom sat her new IBM Selectric electric typewriter on it, and dutifully typed term papers for each of her kids. In the early 80s, she was sidelined by a mild stroke, and lost her ability to type. Later, I used the Selectric until it broke, and was relegated to typewriter heaven (or the Salvation Army, I forget which); the table, however, remained, alternately serving as a general-purpose table and/or dust collector. Mom refused to get rid of it; she was like that, refusing to part with her belongings, even when the rest of the family perceived that the usefulness had run out. She always said that maybe someone could use it one day.
So, the old typing table got shuffled from house to apartment to apartment to mobile home to storage shed to storage unit.
Today, Mom’s gone, having passed away in May 2011. She suffered undiagnosed dementia/Alzheimer’s during the last years of her life, gradually then not so gradually losing her memories. She left behind some furniture, many knick-knacks, lots of odds and ends, and a treasure trove of memories in the form of pictures, love letters between her and Dad, and 50-year-old baby clothes still folded neatly in her cedar chest.
As for the old typing table, turns out, Mom was right. It is now resting comfortably in my home office, holding the modern equivalent of the typewriter … my printer. It has come full circle from Mom’s business to mine.
I’m sure Mom would be proud.