I wrote about "The Chair" in an email to an old friend on November 24, 2015. My friend wrote me back and suggested I take the names out, do a little rewrite, and then publish it because he found it to be beautiful. I probably will never work on getting it published, but I thought I would post it here.
I have a chair that is a recliner. I have had it since either before my youngest, almost 22 years old, was born or right after. It is a recliner for short people. It is the only piece of furniture I can sit on in the house and my feet touch the floor. I love this chair. I have rocked more babies and toddlers in this chair than I can count. I have rocked little boys who have been here at sleepovers and ended up crying for their mothers because the coyotes howling scared them. I have slept in this chair with a sick child on my lap.
I have rocked adult children in this chair and talked away their fears and tears. My oldest and one of his friends in particular have made great use of my lap. I make my youngest sit in my lap in this chair just to irritate him.
This chair is the chair that sat next to Raymond's chair all those years. It is the chair where I sat while we discussed our decisions about our life and his death. It is the chair I slept in next to his hospital bed in the living room so I could hold his hand through the night.
It is the chair I mourned Raymond in, day after day, unable to move because my life dreams were over.
It is the chair I sat in next to my Mom while we watched her favorite television shows.
It is the chair I mourned my Mom in and thought about how I was now an orphan and I had no one to turn to for advice.
It is the chair I sit in when I am sick, recovering from surgery, or have such a horrible migraine that I am curled up in a ball and my youngest is doing all he can to help me.
It is also the chair that has springs coming out of the cushion that catch on my socks and cause me to fall to the ground. My handyman and one of the boys who visits often have cut the the springs down to the best of their abilities but I still get poked. The cording is coming off the front of the chair and the plastic pokes and scratches my legs. There is no padding left in the chair. It is a pitiful chair, but still I hang on to it.
Yesterday, November 23, 2015, I took my youngest shopping because I am buying him a new couch for Christmas. Our third stop was at La-z-boy furniture. We found a couch that we both loved and on clearance so we are all set to go, but wait I tell the salesman, "Do you still have the recliners for short people?" He takes me to the chairs for people my height and I start trying them out. I found one on sale that I love and I ask if it comes in green. I ordered the chair.
I thought I would be sad or have remorse over making such a decision. I came home and sat in my chair and waited. All I felt was happiness. The chair is not what made the memories. It was the interaction between those I love and me.
Until recently I couldn't tell the difference. Talking and listening to an old friend has allowed me to open myself up again. A few years ago I let someone convince me I was worthless, but my old friend has never seen me that way (that I know of) and being around him allows me to remember how I really am if I don't let the doubt creep in.
I am not sure I could have ordered a new chair 60 days ago before I became reacquainted with my old friend.
The new chair feels like a big step for me. As big as going out with my old friend on Halloween, but not nearly as wonderful.
I have no idea how long my old friend will stay in my life this time, but no matter what happens I will always appreciate that our renewed friendship has opened my eyes to what I have been blind to for the last few years. He has reminded me that I have worth. He has allowed me to be myself.