Here is the thing I wrote, about my sister, that I spoke of in my earlier post.
The Chair by me
It began life as an ordinary wooden rocking chair. Simple, plain, unadorned. Maybe a mother rocked her babies to sleep in it. Perhaps a grandmother sat in it to do her knitting. Or an old man, eyes closed, gently rocking and remembering days long passed.
A broken runner threatened to end its life. Tossed carelessly aside in a dumpster, forgotten. Its salvation came in the form of a young father. A dumpster diver extraordinaire; a talent I both admire and am disgusted by. He took it home to his wife, a talented young woman, a rescuer of broken things. Broken chairs, broken animals, broken people. Her small menagerie included a dog with a deformed tail, a parrot with a crooked beak, a three-legged cat. Her circle of friends included people who I (to my shame) would not have given the time of day to. The odds and ends of humanity: a freakishly tall and thin young man, painfully shy, so strange he frightened me. A few people I am reasonably sure lived under a bridge somewhere. She would rescue them, welcome them into her home, and do what she could.
And so she did with the chair. She sawed off the runners so that it became a rather short, stationary chair. She sponge painted it in bright blotches of cheerful colors to match her infant daughter’s bedroom. Gave it new life.
The chair sits in my bedroom now. It is the perfect height to sit in to tie your shoes or paint your nails. The colors don’t really match my decor but I can’t bear to paint it. It reminds me of her – a woman who saved others but who, in the end, couldn’t save herself. Her daughter, now twelve, remembers the chair. It is, after all, hers. I hope when she is grown she will want it back. I want her to have it. To sit in it, to remember. If she forgets, I will tell her. I will never forget.