A Beautiful Table Setting to Honor a Special Life

Welcome to the 441st Tablescape Thursday!

Elena  planned a special Valentine’s Day table this year. She wanted it to be extra special for her family, especially since her sister Anna would be attending. Anna had a heart transplant in January 2000 and during the past year she had been very sick.


Unfortunately, Anna didn’t have the opportunity to attend this special dinner in person, although I have no doubt she was there in spirit. She passed away on February 10th. She was 62 years old, only 18 months younger than Elena.


As you can imagine, this has been a very difficult time for Elena since she and her sister were not just sisters, but best friends. Elena said, “I had completed the Valentine’s Day dinner tablescape in January;  also in January  I had ordered and prepaid the wholesaler  for the Valentine’s Day floral arrangements.  At the time I planned this family dinner, I thought Anna would be part of the festivities.  I had no idea what was about to happen, and I’m glad I didn’t know.”


The special table Elena prepared in January for her family gathering, turned into a lovely memorial dinner for Anna as her loved ones gathered to celebrate her life. It truly is such a blessing that medicine has advance to the place where Anna was given another 16 years of life from the time of her transplant, yet there continues to be so much more to learn. I’m sure a tremendous amount was learned through Anna’s experience and that knowledge is now being used to help others who have a similar need.

Though I never had a chance to meet Anna, I am humbled by her story and the contributions she made throughout her life to this area of medicine. Anna’s struggle and brave fight will have far-reaching results into the lives and future of others who face this same disease.


Regarding the table setting, Elena created this beautiful table with dinnerware by Juliska, found online at Horchow. The red goblets are Marquis by Waterford and the clear wine glasses are Waterford in the pattern, Lismore. The flatware is Grand Baroque by Wallace.


The lovely silverplate chargers were found on eBay.


Elena pre-ordered all the beautiful floral arrangements the month before. They were also used for Anna’s memorial service on Valentine’s Day.


Elena’s sweet kitty, Walterine, especially loves this arrangement and chose it for his daily naps. Sooo cute!


As night closed in, candlelight added a warm glow to this beautiful table setting.


Thanks so much to Elena for sharing this beautiful table setting. Though Anna wasn’t able to be there physically, I have no doubt that her family felt her presence and her love throughout the evening as they dined and shared special moments from her life.

Resources for this table:
Tablecloth– White Lenox Eternal pattern
Red goblets–Marquis by Waterford
Clear crystal wine glasses–Waterford Lismore crystal
Silverplate charger plates–eBay
Sterling silver flatware–Grand Baroque by Wallace
Red and white square plates, bowls and cups–Juliska from Horchow
White organza napkin covers–Always Elegant on eBay
Valentine heart napkin rings–hand-made, supplies from Michael’s
Beaded Valentine’s table runner–Pier One
Crystal pillar candle holders–Marquis by Waterford
Red glitter pillar candles from At Home
Valentine’s Day ribbons/bows from Michael’s
Simple white wax and glass votive candles are from Wal Mart

Buffet and other floral arrangements:
Red and white acrylic crystal foxglove arrangement–foxglove stems from Pier One, curly willow branches from Michael’s, Waterford Lismore Diamond crystal vase
Other fresh flower arrangements on buffet: vases and flowers from Arizona Flower Market; bright pink, red, and pale pink Titanic roses, lavender limonium, Italian ruscus and lemonleaf greenery
Rose arrangement with black cat: same fresh flowers and greenery as buffet arrangements, silver champagne bucket is from my wedding reception, engraved for our wedding day, Sept 1, 1996. For some reason my sweet black cat, Walterine, just loves to sleep underneath this flower arrangement.
All these arrangements plus one more (can’t find the photo) were used as decorations for my sister’s memorial service
Looking forward to all the beautiful tables for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday

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  1. Oh Susan, thank you so much for your kind words, tears streaming down my cheeks at work….. I miss my sister Anna so much. She died on February 10th and her memorial service was on Valentine’s Day. Of course, Valentine’s Day will never be the same again for me, but I hope by next year it will be more sweet than bittersweet. Thank you again, and God bless.

    • Phyllis Piontkowski says

      That was a beautiful story, beautiful table settings, beautiful flowers, beautiful everything……& what a beautiful way for your family to celebrate the life of your sister, Anna. I lost my sister 24 years ago, she was only 52 yrs old. I still miss her very much.

      • So sorry for the your loss of your sister, Phyllis. I have known family and friends who have lost sisters at too young of an age. I never fully understood the grief until now. God bless.

  2. Susan, I am very touched by Elena’s table for her sister, Anna. It is beautiful and very special. Truly a work of love and fitting since February is Heart Month which should cause us to be thankful for the advances in medicine and give freely to aid more research.
    Elena, your tablescape is gorgeous with no detail left behind. Every element is indeed lovely. My condolences on your loss. Blessings to you today.

  3. Thank you Susan, but oh how sad!! The table is just stunning, Elena always creates a masterpiece. I’m sure her sister was smiling from above…

  4. Such a beautiful tribute.

  5. What a beautiful tablescape for Anna. How precious. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  6. My sympathy to Elena. Lovely table in her honor.

  7. What a lovely tribute Elena and her family had for her sister Anna. It brought tears to my eyes.
    With all the warmth and love around that beautiful table I know Anna was there in spirit.
    Thank you Elena for sharing such a touching moment. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  8. What a lovely tribute to a brave woman

  9. Sharing the table and Anna’s story is such a wonderful tribute to a sister and best friend. My sympathy to Elena, as well.

  10. Lisette Sagardia says

    It is such a beautiful and loving gesture what Elena did for her sister. So sorry Elena for your loss.

  11. What a very special and meaningful table. What a lovely and beautiful tribute.

  12. Gail Bell says

    What a beautiful tribute!

  13. Brenda Lawrence says

    How sad for Elena, her table setting is stunning. My sympathy’s to Elena. I lost my husband, he was 52 so I have a good idea how much Elena is missing her sister and best friend. You have did a beautiful tribute to both ladies Susan with this post. Hugs, Brenda

  14. Mary Boger says

    Condolences to Elena. How blessed to have a
    sister (or two or more!) and even more that she
    is a true friend. A beautiful table! TFS

  15. God rest her soul! She is at peace now!beautiful table!

  16. A beautiful table for a gathering of love. As Elena stated Valentine’s Day will certainly have an additional meaning for her and her family … certainly a remembrance of a baby sister. You have my sympathy.

  17. Yillian Perez says

    Beautiful tribute, my Grandson also had a heart transplant when he was two and a half. He passed away when he was nine in The month of February. We always had celebrations with heart theme, to celebrate his life. My heart goes out to the family.

    • Yillian, I’m am so sorry you faced this with your grandson. Much love to you and your family! ♥♥♥

    • Yillian, I am so sorry for the loss of your grandson. I have an eight year old grandson and I don’t know what I would do if we lost him due to illness at a young age. God bless you and your family. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  18. Oh, Susan, I am typing this through some tears. What a beautiful story and such a stunning tribute. Have a wonderful weekend.

  19. Dear Elena my thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you Susan for sharing this beautiful table.

  20. My sympathies to Elena and her family. I have a sister that is my best friend and I can hardly imagine the depth of loss and sadness. The table is lovely. The beautiful silver chargers and ornate silverware adds so much to the table.

  21. Such a touching post. My thoughts and prayers go out to Elena during this difficult time of loss. The memorial table for her sister is beyond lovely and a stunning memorial to her. My best to Elena and her family.

  22. What a beautiful table and a way to honor her sister’s memory. Thoughts and prayers for Elena and her family.

  23. Oh this is such a touching story. I’m so sorry Anna didn’t get to be there physically but I’m sure she was there spiritually. What a beautiful table set with so much love. Everything is beautiful. Blessings to Elena and her family.

  24. A lovely tribute. A heart theme is wonderful, we are always connected to our loved ones who pass before us by the love in our hearts. Beautiful table.

  25. A beautiful table to honor the beauty of life. I am sorry for your loss. We a young student of my passed away at age seven, his father reminded me that “it is the selfish part of us that wants to keep someone here” . My aunt always said ” Everyone wants to go to heaven – know one wants to die. May she rest in peace. ElenaGod bless your family.

  26. Thank you, all of you, for your kind words. And thank you, Susan, for honoring my sister on BNOTP today. It’s only been three weeks since Anna died, and it’s still hard to believe and accept that I will never get to hug my sister again. Your kindness here at BNOTP helps me with the journey of grief I must go on every day. Thank you all, God bless you all.

  27. What a beautiful table for a beautiful soul. Every detail is exquisite. My sympathies for Elena and her family.

  28. What a beautiful and touching story. Elena I am sorry for your loss. May Anna rest in peace. God Bless.

  29. Elena
    This was such a special and beautiful way to honor your sister Anna.

    Condolences and sincerest sympathies to you and your family on your loss.


  30. Wow, not only can you obviously see the love that was poured into this dinner, but you can feel it too! God bless Anna and her beautiful family.

  31. A beautiful and touching tribute.

  32. Cyndi Raines says

    Thank you Susan for sharing Elena’s loving tribute to her sister Anna. I feel her pain as I am still doing my grief work over the loss of my mom’s passing last August. I have 3 sisters and we are all very close. Can’t imagine life without them. Prayers will be said for Elena and her family.

  33. OMGoodness, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Elena’s sister! So very sad. I will say a prayer for them both. Her table is just exquisite! Thanks for sharing this very special table.

  34. How incredibly beautiful and sad. Elena, my heart is heavy for your loss of your dear sister Anna. I hope you received some sort of sign as a nod from her when your family gathered at that table. What a tribute, intended for her while she was living, but outstanding regardless. My sympathies.

  35. Linda Page says

    What an amazing and beautiful table setting. Exquisite! I love the red dishes. So sorry for Elena’s loss. This is a beautiful tribute to her sister. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Deepest sympathy to that entire family. Losing a sibling is devasting. I know the pain and it takes awhile to remember all the wonderful things that person said and did. The memories will come at different times…consider them a gift!

  37. I somehow believe that by sharing this beautiful story and tablescape, Anna’s spirit continues to touch the lives of people she never knew. What an accomplishment. My sympathy to Anna and all who loved her. Thank you for sharing.

  38. Susan, How sweet of you to highlight this loving tribute to Elana’s sister Anna. My mother passed the day after Valentines Day in 2003 so I share, with Elana, how that day will always have special meaning in her life.

    Dear Elana, may God grant you the peace of his love during this difficult time.

    Vikki in VA

  39. So pretty.

  40. bobbi duncan says

    Elena, I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. I know she had to be smiling down upon you; that you put together such a beautiful tribute in her honor. My prayers of healing are with you and your family at this most difficult time. Susan, thank you for sharing this bittersweet but, oh, so loving story. Valentine’s Day: the day of love and hearts–how very touching.

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