Stained Tablecloths

When we moved into our new home in October 2012, I purchased three new tablecloths for our dining room table.  The colors were cranberry, celery green, and a soft cream.  We have other tablecloths but these three are ones most often used and rotated.

Over the past four plus years there are some slightly visible stains appearing.  In many ways, losing the newness of the tablecloths and seeing some wear brings happy memories.  I think of the many meals we have eaten on these tablecloths and the many prayers we have offered before those meals.

When we returned home from the lumpectomy surgery on 2 June 2016, Scott and Gina had the dining room table set and supper ready.  They decided to stay an extra day with us after the surgery was scheduled.  Scott said to Richard, “Dad, I just can’t go back today.”  They did so much more than make supper; they even brushed the dogs and vacuumed the floors.  What they really did, though, was suspend their plans to support us at a time when our future was uncertain.

My body from our cancer journey has been like a stained tablecloth.  On close scrutiny, there remains faint scars from my drainage tubes and with less scrutiny more prominent scars.  Over time, the more prominent scars will fade but not the memories. My body’s markings are a roadmap of this journey.

I think of how far Richard and I have come on this journey.  As the one-year anniversary of so many “firsts” approaches, we have crossed many milestones and much of the journey is in our rear view mirror.  We know the routine.  We now have a good idea of the future.

Leaders … What are the “tablecloth stains” on your leadership journey?

Are these stains happy memories?

Do these stains require a conversation with another person to wash out the stain?


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