I believe in rocking chairs and that one blue rocking chair has formed the person I am today. Though reupholstered twice in my lifetime alone, this small chair now sits with a navy skirt covering it to the floor and a blue floral cushion perpendicular to a wooden back. I believe in this rocking chair, and I believe in all the world’s rocking chairs.
This particular rocking chair has sat in many different corners, in many different rooms. It has been a resting spot for new mothers forming new families, it has been a place to learn; it has become common ground for my entire family, siblings and cousins alike. Originally, my grandmother sat in it nursing babies and caring for sick toddlers; my mother did the same with me and my siblings. This chair has been a part of our family for nearly sixty years and has helped to join together three generations.
My grandmother used this chair as a reading chair. Though she was weak and fragile in my childhood, I was always allowed to sit in her lap as we read picture books together. As a child, when I or another of my siblings caught a cold or the flu, the chair was moved to that specific bedroom for my mother to watch over us as we rested. For her it was a place to wait for thermometer results and doze off as we slept, but for us it was medicinal and comforting. The soft creak heard when the chair is in full motion could lull even the most sickly child to sleep.
Though our rocking chair meant all these things to the two generations of women preceding me, it means something even more to me. To me, this chair is a way to remember those small moments in time that are often lost in our minds. Many of my earliest memories were formed in and at the foot of this chair. Those scenes in my mind’s eye that are so distant and long ago, can come to back to life with only a glace at my grandmother’s chair. I fall back to my mother’s bedtime stories and midnight snacks or singing my ABC’s as she hummed along. However, it is my grandmother who I find most prevalent when I reminisce on our chair. She was very old by the time I came along and unfortunately in the final stage of life. Most of my thoughts on her are of her dying, but when I think about her from her rocking chair she is alive.
A simple motion and piece of furniture made me who I am. Now sitting in my room, it serves as a reminder of my grandmother, my mother, and the childhood I spent rocking and being rocked.
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