Family

The Chair

Her room is a delicate girl-y room filled with ribbons and bows and lace and sparkles.

Her walls painted colors with names like Tinkerbell and Ballerina.

Gauzy sheer white curtains embroidered with pink flowers and sequins frame the window over her white wrought iron bed, the bed that I laid my own head on as a child and dreamed of Prince Charming, Writing and Shooting Stars.

Fancy Nancy, Olivia, Franny K Stein and Sesame Street fill her white bookshelf,

You walk in her room and you know that a little girl lives there, tap shoes and cleats, Mary Janes and cowboy boots mingle on her closet floor while up above there are skirts and frilly sun dresses and t-shirts and shorts.  A little girl lives here; a little girl who loves nail polish and bows and boots and soccer and kickball and ballet all with the equal passion that only the young to whom all things are still possible possess.

However, there’s one item in her room that will give you pause.

As you walk in her delicate, pink and green, cotton candy room; you’re confronted with a brown recliner.  An old chair with wood arms and a brown fawn suede seat.  It juts out of one corner, knocking the delicate balance of her room slightly out of whack.

It detracts from the inherent girlness and youth of her room with its strong lines and utter masculinity.

However, this chair has a story, a reason, a purpose and once you know it, it fits into her room and your heart and you know it could be nowhere else.

This chair was her great grandfather’s chair, her father and uncles fought over who got to sit in it and who would eventually own it when PaPa (paw paw) upgraded.  Nathan got the chair.

It’s moved around our house since Princess was a baby, I didn’t want the chair, it didn’t fit into my vision of our home. However, once I brought Princess home from the hospital, it was to this chair that I migrated to nurse her, rock her to sleep and feel her moist hot breath against my skin and the fluttering of her tiny heartbeat.  It was in this chair that I sat for hours on end and watched in fascination as her eyelashes twitched against her plump rosy cheeks and her rosebud mouth moved with her dreams.

This chair has moved with us from house to house and city to city.

PaPa passed away last year.

Princess was his only great granddaughter and the pink lady apple of his eye in a family full of rambunctious boys her big blue eyes, bow mouth and freckles delighted him and stole his heart in the way that only little girls can.

So now, this chair sits boldly in her room and as she cuddles  into it to read her books, draw her pictures and write her dreams in her journal; I see her once again, a small girl nestled in her PaPa’s big strong arms,  she looking up at him with wide innocent eyes and he looking down at her with wonder and love and awe.

And my heart knows that although you may come to our house and wonder at the imperfection and wrongness of that chair in her room; my heart knows that chair was meant for that room.

the chair

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47 Comments

  1. Oh Rachel, I love this post. Your words flow so lyrically and your sentiments are quite close to my heart. I have an old rocking chair in my bed-room that belonged to my Mother. She rocked her 7 children and her grand-children in it. Her rocker was left to me and I rock my grand-children in it. It creaks and moans with every forward and backward movement and her old wood sighs under our weight, but it still cradles us in her seat and gives us comfort. Whenever I use it, I am reminded of my Mom and the memories are priceless.

  2. It always amazes me the way we can take the most ordinary objects and infuse them with a life of their own through our use and our memories. Eventually that chair will collapse due to loving use so when it does, cut out the most worn part of that seat, frame it along with this post and Miss P will never let it leave her walls. Another great post

    1. and with your one comment, you’ve reduced me to tears.
      Love you, Dad.
      I’m so glad they still have your lap to jump into, your laugh to hear and your arms to hold them.

  3. I have two mismatched wingbacks in my office. They are one of the first things you’ll see when you walk into my house, and the stuffing is poking out of the arm of one of them.

    They are the only thing I have of my Poppi’s.

  4. Oh Rachel, that is such a sweet story. And that chair fits perfectly in her room…what a beautiful tribute to a very important man. Excellent post.

    1. LOL. Liz, I have no doubt in my mind that your house is a H-O-M-E and every piece has a story, a heart and someone who’s passionate about it.
      Just being your friend is like coming home.
      <3

  5. Made me sad as my granddaughters and grandson were my parent’s only great grandchildern and I’m so thankful they had a chance to know each other…so special!

  6. I love this post, but when I first saw that photo, I thought it looked perfect right where it was. (Maybe because it is only a small corner of her girly room space.) Then again, I always kind of like when odds and ends fit together. When the out of place finds a place. Am I even making sense right now?

    <3 this post. <3 you too!

  7. What a great post! What a treasure for your girl to have.

    It doesn’t look quite as bad as I expected 🙂 The pretty pillow helps!

  8. Such beauty in your words! And in that “old” chair. Sometimes it’s just the memories and sentiment that are all needed to make things truly beautiful. Like in this case…

    We HAD a rocker that was my husband’s great grandparents’ originally. My MIL gave it to us while I was pregnant with my first son. But when we moved out of state we decided to give it back to her because we didn’t want anything to happen to it. But I rocked BOTH of my baby boys in that chair and I hope to get it back when we move back… 😉

  9. First – your daddy is the best. Very telling are his posts – the absolute love and admiration you two share and why we (your fans) love you so much – for your writings, memories and sweet southern – ness was obviously nurtured in you over your lifetime. Precious family you have and that makes me feel connected to you. God bless you always Rachel. Thank You

  10. This put me in tears first thing in the morning. Having just recently lost my grandmother and approaching the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing it reminds me so much of them. They both had ‘their’ chairs. When I was growing up my grandfather’s was this ugly red thing…but it was his chair and I love it. It’s long gone now, my grandmother replaced it with a newer/nicer chair – but if I’d been older I would have loved to have had it.

  11. This is beautiful Rachell…I am sorry I nearly missed this post! I have been far too busy lately. 🙁

    Love the gorgeous photo, too.

    The chair is perfect.

  12. Great post!! Given the story that chair does fit perfectly in her room-and it just wouldn’t be right anywhere else! What a lovely story!!

    Coming by from Saturday Sampling!

  13. It’s great that the chair wasn’t put in the garage just because it didn’t fit to the girlyness of the room. Beautifully written, too. Thank you

    Kristin _ The Goat
    via Saturday Sampling

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