(mom…if you read this, please send me a pic of the rocking chair I love so much so I can put it on the blog…maybe one with me as a little girl?)
BTW: This entry is officially dedicated to my mom!
In my Utah history clas, we have been discussing the turn of the 20th century and how the 1900s have changed the face of the state forever, especially in the loss and appreciation of the rich family and home oriented heritage. We read a short story called “Zarahemla” by Douglass Thatcher to illustrate the point.
In this short story, the main character is debating on whether or not to sell his grandmother’s old house. It was important to him becuase he grew up in this house, raised by his mother and grandmother. His grandmother was a plural wife to an early Mormon and this house was her own home. It still had a brass bed that the polygamous grandfather slept in and died in. The main character’s son wanted that bed. The house was full of memories of the past for the main character–his own childhood and the stories his grandmother told him. It was near and dear to him, it was a part of him. How could he part with this house?
That got me thinking of heirlooms.
What do we keep and why? What means a lot to us?
For Easter weekend, I went to my Grandmother’s. The whole time we talked about life–her life as a child, when she got married, my college life, my obsession and plans for Wales, my non-existant love life. Then we talked about my parents’ engagement and early married life. We looked at pictures of when I was a toddler.
In quite a few of them was a dark polished brown rocking chair with pink cushions. I have been rocked and nursed in that rocking chair, same as my siblings. I have rocked them to sleep numerous times as well as my mom. I have sat in my moms lap and cried as she rocked me after a bad day at school. I would rock in that chair and study for midterms. I would hurry and grab it when our Home Teachers came over every month. It is one of the few things left in the house that is as old, if not older, than me.
While looking at these pictues with Grandma, I realized, I wanted that rocking chair!
However, due to military transfers and poor housing economy, my family has moved 3 times within the past 3 years! I couldn’t remember if we even still had the rocking chair! I tried to imagine where we would have placed it in our newest home! I was nervous that I wouldn’t get this rocking chair!
I called mom. This is basically our conversation.
“Hi mom! Grandma and I were just looking at some old pictures and I was wondering…remember that old rocking chair? Do we still have it?”
“Ya, it’s in Dad and my bedroom. Why do you ask?”
“Cuz I couldn’t remember if we still had it or not. I like that rocking chair.”
“…You want it?”
“We’ll see what we can do…It’s not super comfy to rock babies in, though.”
“I don’t care, I want it! Please!”
So now, thank you mom! I may get this rocking chair! Why would I want a 20+ year old rocking chair, that doesn’t even have the pink cushions and is difficult/uncomfortable to nurse babies in? Why?
Because it is an heirloom. It meant something to me as a child and thus, it will mean something to me as an adult. Then the circle will continue–it will mean something to my children. And, I’ll always be able to remember and have my mom in the house with me every time I rock in that chair.