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>Home Is…an old rocking chair

May 19, 2010

>As a gift to my mother upon my birth, my dad bought a simple, Shaker-style rocker. It wasn’t expensive, or fancy. Just a plainy-old rocker.

She loved it, and used it, and I grew up with it as a fixture in our home.

We now own a precious handful of other heirlooms: a steamer trunk stamped with adventures from long ago, Velma’s hope chest, filled with fragile, tissue-wrapped baby clothes – mine, my brother’s, and my babies’ as well. Mom’s wedding luggage, that I stack and use as an end table. Velma’s pink-rimmed eye glasses. Patricia Simmons’ family table linen. And, a few other trinkets and momentos of days and times and faces gone by.

But this old rocker is something special. Not fancy. Not valuable. Faded, and well-used.

It’s just an old rocking chair.

Yet, I think of the babies that were rocked in that chair. First me, and I’m sure my brother on occasion. Certainly it held us both a time or two.

My father, now a grandfather many times over, rocked babies in that chair. In our family room now, it’s been at the scene of fort-building and cartoon-watching many-a-time.

I remember when I took the photo below that he had insisted…no, let me this time. Let me go. He did, and it was precious. A tender, manly moment of fatherhood.

So many hours I sat in that rocker nursing a hungry, wee man. So many hours rocking a tired, stuffy body, or a damp and feverish one, murmering away the fears, or simply offering companionship in the quiet dark.

Sitting there, I would look across the room to where her picture hangs and we would talk of motherhood and boys. In my head, I still hear snatches of ancient lullabies she sang to me in that old rocker so many years ago. Lullabies her mother sang to her, and by her mother before her. An unbroken thread of love woven through the years.

I’ll sell my rod and I’ll sell my wheel
To buy my love a sword of steel
So in battle he might wield
Johnny’s gone for a soldier

Shule, shule shule aroon….

This post was linked to Reluctant Entertainer’s Home Is… link up! Stop by to read other stories of treasured family heirlooms.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2010 1:17 pm

    >I love your rocker! My husband has an old rocking chair that belonged to his grandfather. It has brought us a lot of joy through the years.

  2. May 19, 2010 1:43 pm

    >so beautifully written…can just imagine how special the rocker is to you.

  3. May 19, 2010 1:50 pm

    >I can see why this rocker would be such a treasure. So many memories attached to it, and it sounds like precious ones at that.I have a basic glider rocker that I can't seem to part with. The cushion is lumpy and the fabric has faded. The side arms have teeth marks in them from when my daughter was teething. I would continually find her gnawing on the soft wood.We bought it when we were expecting our firstborn and I have rocked my babies in it through so much.Thank you for sharing this with us. What a treasured piece full of so many memories.

  4. May 19, 2010 2:33 pm

    >Precious, precious!!!!

  5. May 19, 2010 3:33 pm

    >I know this rocker well! I probably rocked you in it when I babysat!

  6. May 19, 2010 3:59 pm

    >What a beautiful story. 🙂 I love that you have photos of family members using the rocker…that would make a neat photo grouping in your home. 🙂 Lovely lullaby too! I'm visiting from Sandy's party. 🙂

  7. May 19, 2010 5:09 pm

    >Oh, Adelle, what a beautiful story. Isn't it interesting how the things that become precious heirlooms aren't usually things of great monetary value? I suppose their real value is symbolic, and certainly this rocker symbolizes much, much more than a place to sit. Thanks for sharing such a wonderfully written reminiscence with us!

  8. May 19, 2010 6:23 pm

    >Love this! And I must say I could totally see "you" in that pix of you and your brother! The pix of your husband in the chair is perfect for Father's Day, too. Great post, I loved every word!Thanks for linking up at RE today!

  9. May 19, 2010 9:55 pm

    >I love the story too! What a treasured thing, thanks for sharing it.

  10. May 20, 2010 3:51 pm

    >What a precious story. I love your rocking chair. Such a beautiful post.

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