Firing from the Lip

A collection of thoughts, stories, tall tales, half truths and opinions from the Heartland of America.

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Location: Missouri, United States

An irreverent but loving grandfather of five and father of three, I enjoy writing of family, love, life, and the never ending fascination of it all.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Four Old Chairs

They're four very old chairs, well made, sturdy, seats worn smooth from the use of many years. They sit in my dining room now, surrounding an equally old table bought long ago for five dollars at a yard sale. We always thought we'd replace it someday, but never did. The little nicks and cuts in it's surface were put there by my children long ago. When I'm lonely or sad, our table has the power to take me back to soft talks with my kids, to pictures proudly colored and presented for display on the refrigerator door, to tired little heads napping gently as I watch.
The chairs belonged to Vickie's grandmother, a lady long since passed from this world. Vickie spent many happy days in her grandmother's house as a young girl, and the old chairs in our dining room are a connection. A physical reminder of a love that endures. To her they are ice cream sundaes on hot Summer days, gentle touches when she was crying, warm hugs, pies and cakes from her grandmother's oven, and memories of a gentle time when she was loved as only a grandmother can love.
Vickie's mother died when she was fifteen, and she became both sister and mother to her two little sisters. When she was at her grandmothers house, she could just be the kid she was and for a time, put aside the responsibility that she was far too young to bear. Her grandmother tried to help Vickie all she could, and she knew how very afraid her little granddaughter was, and how much she missed her mother. In her, Vickie had someone to turn to, to cry to, to admit her fear of failing her father as she tried to help raise her sisters.
The old womans love and tenderness was a gift to my wife, and because of that, a gift to me as well. She helped make Vickie what she is, loving and gentle, kind and wise, strong but tender. A woman I thank God for every day of my life.
We could get another table, a newer table, a larger table, but it would mean nothing to us. It would not bear the scars of our lives together. It would not remind us of those we've loved and lost in our youth. Our old table and chairs are hand me downs, but we will never part with them. They remind us too much of how lucky we've been.
They're just four old chairs, a scarred table, and a thousand loving memories.


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