A multiple number of transitions and changes have me focusing on chairs. It appears to be a re-appearing theme in my frazzled brain. Trying times create a need to capture sanity saving modes to fixate upon. This week, it is chairs.
Recently, my brother, Humbucker, and I cleared out the family home to ready it for sale. In the corner of the Florida room was the Lazy Boy chair he and I purchased for our father. The chair Dad had been sitting in for decades was decaying. Our mother had made covers to camouflage the worn patches. I am sure to make the chair socially acceptable was a consideration. During my last visit, I didn’t know it was my last visit with my Dad, I noticed that when he would push the chair back to recline, it would bounce and almost slip out of gear. I was concerned his head would hit the terrazzo tile floor. Humbucker and I thought it would be a glorious idea to surprise Dad with a new chair. After returning to our respective homes, we researched and found a chair which most resembled the one Dad loved so much. Ordered it, had it delivered and put into place. We were naive thinking it would be well received. Our Mau was thrilled and excited about it.
Needless to say, when I called Dad on delivery day, he said the chair didn’t “sit” the same. It was difficult to push it into the recline position for him. He had acute rheumatoid arthritis. Oh, I went into a panic. It was supposed to be an improvement. Mau told me the delivery personnel were kind enough to put the old chair on the curb and someone picked it up within the first hour. My heart sank. Always optimistic, I told Dad he had to break in the new chair for it to work the same as his old one. He graciously thanked us for the chair but our hearts were still broken over the decision of trying to change something so integral to his comfort. Dad passed away 6 weeks later. The chair is now in Humbuckers home. I am sure he thinks about the events woven through it. We always try and hang onto a thread of history.
A small portion of the furniture cleared from the family home in Florida was moved to my home in Texas. The movers were conscientious and efficient. I screwed up and missed a small occasional chair on the check list. I signed off not missing the item during the mini chaos. Mau loved the little chair because she could easily move it to where it was immediately needed. So did I, especially during the months it took me to wrap up business in Florida. I took a photo of it with my phone because it was where I kept our parent’s photo safe from flying paint,contractors and plaster during the last rush of finishing out the house. It was important to keep track of it. During the furniture delivery in Texas, I was stressed from multi tasking, again. I preach all the time about making sure the plan is carried out and the items are accounted for. So, Sorrenson Mayflower Movers out of Orlando – if you find our chair, please let me know.
Moving a lot of furniture around, to make room for more, generates images from the deep crevices of your mind. The little rocker I grew out of a long time ago has had a lot of little butts sit in it since. Our children and their children have rocked in it, sang, laughed and cried in it. The little rocker now moves from the extra bedroom to the living room for visiting babies. It still has the X’s I carved into the back of it with a metal nail file when I was about 5 years old. X’s seem to be my sign off trademark to this day.
There’s a cherished chair in my home now. I should have learned from previous lessons, but this chair was joy. It was a lounge chair, bought and delivered, to be in place for Lover when he was sprung from open heart surgery. It was a wonderful surprise for him. He loved it.
I’ve witnessed daughter #2 crawling into it, searching for the comfort of her father. Lover’s cousin walks around it but will not sit in it, even if it is the last available chair in the house. His brother appeared nervous when I offered him a seat in it recently. He declined. At first it was a shrine, I would stare at. Now, it is important to remember the few but vivid memories of moments shared with Lover as he sat proudly in his new chair. Always appreciative of being thought of, he was thrilled if someone gave him a koozie.
Don McLean wrote a song, Empty Chairs, which encapsulates a loss and pain associated with his chair. It was one of my favorite songs when I was a kid. Mr. McLean was wise and I was young. It will serve a greater purpose to think of the magic in the moments associated with these chairs. The personalities and stages of my life by the side of those walking through with me.