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Parlor Chair

There is a spot in my grandmother’s home
It is reserved for guests
Older aunts and uncles on a visit, the parish priest, old friends that grandma wanted to impress
I have always wanted to sit in it, if only for a moment

Grandma was a lady
Graceful, warm and loving
She was a beautiful lady, tall and slender
The chair meant a great deal to her
And she let everyone know that it was reserved for special guests only

It didn’t appear to be a very comfortable chair
The plastic that covered the fabric had kept the rose colored petals and swirling green vines so vivid after all these years.
I hoped it would get worn at some point
Then it might not be so special
And I might get the chance to sit in it.

I remember standing behind the book shelves, peering out and watching grandma sit Aunt Marge in the parlor chair
She looked so regal sitting there
The dark wood arms and back held her posture so perfectly
Is it possible that the seat of honor magically made people appear more poised, almost noble?
Whatever it was, I was not allowed to sit there

The chair sat in its same spot, year after year
In the corner of the front room
Where the sun would glow through the sheer curtains 
and rest softly on its arms
I had never forgotten about the chair 
But time and distance kept me from visiting grandma as I used to
It would be 20 years since my fascination with the parlor chair first took hold
This time I would come to visit and hope it was still there
How I wanted to see the rose pattern with the lovely green vines
To see the glow of the sun raining down in the corner of the room 
As it had so many years ago

There she was, much smaller than I remembered her
Her hair completely white, her smile still proud and welcoming
As I walked through the front door, she held me as if catching up on all the years we spent apart
She grabbed me by the arm and led me to “the chair”
She sat me down and smiled, almost knowing what she was doing, what this meant to me

After talking for hours, she took my hands in hers 
She told me how she had always wanted a parlor chair, just like her mother had
Although as a child, she was never allowed to sit in it
She would watch family; visitors and special guests enjoy her mother’s hospitality while sitting in that chair
It meant so much to her

When she married, her mother gave her the parlor chair 
She told my grandmother, that it was hers now, and that she should save it for special guests
Our greatest love is our family; our children
They belong sitting on our laps, held in our arms, not in chairs covered in plastic
Guests need to feel welcomed into your home, a special spot of their own
Knowing that I looked upon the chair just as she had; she felt I would be the best person to care for it

Grandma passed away two years after that visit
When she would visit my home, she would marvel at the beauty of the rose pattern and the winding green vines
Her approving smile let me know that I had placed the chair in the proper area of my front room
Her visits were few as she was getting on in age 
However, whenever she visited my home
The parlor chair was her seat; she was always my special guest

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 11/16/2018 1:48:00 AM
Such a charming and sweet story Susan. I adored the warmth of your words. Welcome to Poetry Soup. Aloha,Connie : )
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Susan Rigo
Date: 11/17/2018 6:24:00 PM
Thank you Connie, I really appreciate your words. Aloha!
Date: 10/18/2018 11:47:00 AM
Wonderful story Susan, a treasure to share, so glad you did...
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Susan Rigo
Date: 10/18/2018 12:10:00 PM
I so appreciate your kind words Charlie.
Date: 10/18/2018 10:36:00 AM
Extraordinary story-telling, and a very poignant and involving piece, very well penned, Susan. Welcome to PS !
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Susan Rigo
Date: 10/18/2018 12:09:00 PM
Thank you Lawrence, I really appreciate it.
Date: 10/17/2018 2:46:00 PM
Susan, this is so beautifully written. We had a "good" couch, that we were not allowed to sit on, but you are right, the best furniture should be given to our family whom we love the most! Welcome to PoetrySoup!
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Susan Rigo
Date: 10/17/2018 3:57:00 PM
Thank you so much Caren. I'm new here and decided to dust off some things from years ago. I'm so glad you liked it.
Date: 10/16/2018 6:36:00 PM
Lovely story about a special chair. Could almost be turned into a short story. Welcome to PS.
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Susan Rigo
Date: 10/17/2018 12:21:00 PM
I was not sure exactly how this would be classified. Thank you so much for your input.