As I write this column there is sadness in my heart. An old friend of mine is in trouble. And to make it worse there really isn’t anything I can do for him which makes it even worse. He has been a part of my life for close to twelve or thirteen years, a daily part. He has been with me through the good times and bad, the happy times, and even through the worst days of my life. He held me up when I could hardly stand myself. He has been with me through the years as I watched my daughters grow from young girls to young women, when someone was sick, he was there through the night and wrapped his arms around them. Even Doc found comfort on his arms when he was little. But Monday when I grasped his arm, the strength finally left him, no longer could he hold me as he used to, and while sadness filled my heart … my youngest child … busted out laughing!
My chair finally broke…
Alright ladies, it’s not funny! A man’s chair is the last refuge a man has in his own home. It’s his, every thing else, someone else can seem to beg, borrow, or steal from him, but his chair is his. When he walks in the room if anyone is in it, there is no argument, they get up. Even the remote is not as sacred as a man’s chair. It’s where he dispenses sage advice, settles grievances, and surveys his kingdom. And it is a place of rest from the daily woes of life a man must endure to keep his kingdom happy and secure.
I should have known it wouldn’t be long before my chair would finally give up the ghost. About a week or so ago, as I sat down I heard a BOING! and then something hit me in my butt, not hard, just a tap to let me know something wasn’t right. It’s been creaking lately, so I kind of knew something might be going on. Then the other day I heard a crack, that don’t sound good, then finally Monday, it happened. Just as I pulled the lever back and got comfortable, I got the feeling that I was on a see saw. Back and forth, back and forth, it wouldn’t stop. Do you remember the first video game, Pong, back in the seventies, that’s what it felt like. I’d go back, blip, then forward, blip, then back again.
That’s when my loving second born almost hurt her self laughing. And then, just to add insult to injury, she decided to get in front of my chair, and every time it slowed down, she would just push down a little on my big toe, and it would start all over again. Here I am in the throes of grief, and she thinks it’s hilarious!!
I can almost remember the day Mel bought the chair for me; it was to replace the one she had given me for Christmas many years ago. I had just gone on night shift for the second time, and seeing how I never really learned to sleep in the day time, she figured it might help. It was a big old brown looking one, the kind you can almost wrap your self in, and as most men will attest to it takes a while to get just right. You’ve got to wallow it a round a bit. That and you have to set up everything around it so that you don’t have to get up every time the phone rings, or you need something to scratch your back. Plus some place to set your books, and a place to set your glass of tea down. You just can’t set a chair in a hole in the living room and think it’s going to work.
But I guess it’s getting to be that time, time to retire my old friend, but as I think back, there are a lot of memories in the cloth of the arms. I sat here and watched my girls go to the proms, and then off to college and back again. I’ve rocked nieces and nephews, fed them and rocked them to sleep. I’ve slept in it when my legs wouldn’t let me sleep anywhere else, and I’ve seen my girls crawl in it when they were sick and nothing else but Daddy’s chair would make them feel better. And when the days came I buried my folks, and as I sat down, it gave me a little peace. Old friends like that are hard to come by.
But the time has come; it’s time to let him go. I’ve done some of my best work from between its arms, but this morning, this morning he started to let me down. Just as I put the computer on my knees, it started again, back and forth, back and forth. KT has just moved back, emptying Tupperware containers, and I had me an idea, an idea only a man can come up with. “Hey KT, you see that big brown one over there, how about stick it”…
The only problem is if she leaves, how am I going to get down, oh well, at least I’ve got the remote.
You can reach Robbin by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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