So, I have this chair that the previous owners of our last house left behind. I dragged it along to this house- and I keep meaning to maybe sand it and paint it- but part of me loves the rust and the grit.
My mom has stories of visiting her grandparents on their house on a lake- and in the winter, when the lake froze, she and her sister and cousins would scoot eachother around on the ice in this kind of chair- the metal legs apparently made great skis. So that story doesn't include me (before my time), and it doesn't include this exact chair (though it may easily have been from the same time). But it's a family story- so I, being supremely sentimental, have always liked these chairs in general - and imagine myself getting pushed around an icy lake so clearly it's almost as if the story really does include me.
Another person the story doesn't specifically include is my mom's mom. But I've always just lumped everyone in the family into the scenes I build in my imagination while hearing about my mom's memories of her grandparents. So these chairs make me think of my grandmother too.
Today I'm facing the reality of losing my grandmother- she's coming to the end of her life, and though I'm glad her suffering is nearly at an end and I feel very at peace with my realtionship with her- I'll miss her very much. She was a quintessential grandmother: She thought I could do no wrong, she was a champion of my art and she taught me to make swedish meatballs. When I was little she always had stacks of drawing paper and a million markers and pens to draw with. She kept a copy of a story I wrote in first grade taped her fridge until I graduated from college. She loved my husband and my boys- quite possibly more that she loved me.
I'm very comfortable with my own personal beliefs in terms of the cycle of life. I'm sure she'll be a part of me forever, and I am so thankful to have had her in my life for these 36 years of mine. Nevertheless, I've been wandering around feeling swirls of natural emotions and felt a really strong urge to do something with them- and there stood that chair, out in the afternoon sun. So I let some paints swirl around for a while and came up with this: