Chelle Summer


The Chair

Michelle Rusk

On a sunny day several months after my mom's death in 2014, I dropped off some of her stuff at a local thrift store that benefits local animals. No one helped me unload the car and as I drove away, a chair she always sat in– one that was in our living room most of my life– stood alone on the loading dock waiting for someone to take it inside.

I didn't think much about the chair in the past few years. I hadn't been sure what I could do with it because it matched the decor of our Chicago suburban home, not my Albuquerque mid-century design. It's just one of many items I've held onto only later to finally give away (many of them because I did two cross country moves over a year and a half) because I wasn't sure how I could use them in the future.

About a month ago, however, I saw something that sparked an idea of what I could have done with the chair. I saw how I could have repainted and reupholstered it to match my decor. This isn't the first time that's happened but it stayed with me until I finally let it go– probably because I got distracted by other projects I'm working on.

Then on Veteran's Day– a day both Greg and I had off from work– we went to an estate sale in an older neighborhood (actually, the one that he grew up in), nearby and I spotted a great chair in the living room. It was a rather small house, built in the 1940s, and the chair looked huge. But comfortable. And an ottoman no less!

We purchased our items and went home. 

But I couldn't stop thinking about the chair. It wasn't overpriced. It was in good condition. It could wait until we found the right fabric to redo it.

And when we went back the next morning, it was still there.

We brought it home; I worried it would be too big for the living room. I moved the chair in its place to my office where I found it actually looked better. The new chair was perfect in its new home.

Finally, it was something Greg and purchased together, part of our new journey together. And a gift from Mom.