I remember being so upset. I had remembered writing my name with my finger nail in the wood, as all my cousins had, rocking back and forth with and without my grandmother. It was my favorite place to curl up when I stayed with her as a child, and the place I sat as a young man on her old back porch while she told me tales from the past.
Yes, I felt somehow tied to that old rocking chair, and I was heartbroken when my Aunt snatched it up without even asking me. A year went by, and at my brother's high school graduation, my Aunt brought me a gift. "Why me?" I thought - after all it was my brothers graduation. But I'm not one to turn down a gift, so I walked with her to the back of my uncles truck to find the chair, refinished as you see if above. She knew how much I loved that chair, and must have recalled my longing.
Artie with Aunt Gwen.
I've pulled that chair in several directions since, each time carrying a bit of the memories of those hot Louisiana summers on the back porch, sipping iced tea with my grandmother, her fresh out of the beauty shop curls almost stone-like as the soft summer brease ruffeled the needles of the pine trees and blew ever so gently upon our warm faces.
And I will pass it along to my niece or nephew when I go. Broken bits and pieces, time worn, aged with grace and beauty ... the way it was intended.