Thursday, February 4, 2016

No empty chair

There is a very good chance Mom comes home today. Bed is here. Supplies are here, although they are not unpacked. Last night I crashed and burned. I guess my sleep factor meter was running on empty.

Do you have traditionally assigned seats around your table? We certainly have all my life. I sit on the south, and that has long, actually forever been my spot... 60 years. Growing up I recall a brainy idea I had to switch up seats (mainly so I could sit in my dad's spot I think.) The chair on the east, Daddy's, had a clear vantage of the road, the sidewalk, the sunset... Mom took her month there. But then my dad uncharacteristically balked. He was tired of that game. So I didn't get my month in the catbird seat. While I was pretty disappointed at the time, I hadn't thought of it in years. I love and embrace my "spot" now and really wouldn't want to change.

Recently I invited some of my son's friends to come here after hospital visitation to play cards at our table. I was doing some things in another room and overheard my son talking about the places at the table.

He was over on the east side, not at his usual place, sitting where Mom usually has sat since my dad passed away. The young men listened with a silent, respectful, sober friendship and attention I've come to appreciate in the world of "boys."

My son announced rather officially in a super quiet, yet important tone. "This chair belonged to my grandfather all his life. I remember the next time we sat at this table that my granny moved in here immediately.  And then it was her chair for ten years. And now it's mine." By that time I'd entered the kitchen. "With your permission, Mama," he smiled.

I just then realized that although Mom is coming home, it will be impossible to get her to that spot, no matter what her improvement. Instead of a painful hole at our table, there is simply a change. We all know that nothing stays the same. "The old order changeth, yielding place to new." (Sir Alfred, Lord Tennyson in The Passing of Arthur)  Change is such a part of life. It's so much better to plan and enact these important transitions of our own invention than to lie --- belly up---- waiting for change to "do us in."

Pretty philosophical here before coffee, aren't I? Have a good one. Evidently those boxes did not unpack themselves. Better motivate in to do it.


Becky K. said...

So meaningful....these places we hold in our family. Your son is stepping into a pretty important place and it sounds as if he is up to the challenge. Bless all of you!

Miss Merry said...

We call our chairs our "assigned seats". Seriously - remember to take care of yourself, too. Plenty of rest and drink lots of water (I prefer mine hot with a tea bag!). You can't do it all. Ask for help! Accept offers of help. Good luck to your family.

Heaven's Walk said...

Remembering those sweet memories, and embracing new changes are such important steps we take in life, isn't it, Gayla? Change can be so difficult, but I think there is usually a reason for it. Kind of like passing on the flame. :) Bless you, sweetie - and praying that all goes smoothly with your mom's arrival!

xoxo laurie