Precious Moment Rocking Chair: A Story of Enduring Love (Eunice Cupples)

Rocking Chair Figurine

The actual figurine Ted gave to Eunice.
The actual figurine Ted gave to Eunice.

This is a true story told to me by my good friend, Eunice Cupples. I'm narrating the story in the first person.

My eyes searched the thrift store. Surely, there has to be a rocking chair somewhere. I’m not going home without one. The thought made me excited and the baby seemed to agree—a little kick of affirmation. The perfect scenario played in my mind—me and my baby rocking in the rocking chair, lullaby on my lips and the smell of her freshly washed hair.

I saw it—a little battered thing, sitting in the shadow of some huge Victorian vases, a sorry relic of prime time past.

How much do you want for that?” I called out to the owner, directing his eyes to the chair.

“Ohh, I would say fifty dollars,” he hollered back, not even bothering to take a second look.

“How about thirty-five? That’s all I’ve in my purse,” I gave Ted a wink.

He seemed a little disconcerted but took a cursory look at my obvious bump and said, “Alright, you got yourself a bargain.”

Someone's treasure!

Ted hauled the rocking chair and I followed, the proud owner with anticipation welling.

Once home, Ted situated the rocking chair in the baby’s room, pink and happy motifs climbing the walls down to the floor.

I couldn’t wait to try it out. Sitting in the rocking chair, I make-believe that I’m lulling my little one to sleep and she’s just the perfect baby, enjoying the moment. I’m having my practice run and loving every minute of it. The rocking chair is going to make my baby happy.

Chelcea finally came—7 pounds, 7 ounces, every bit the girl I wanted. Wide-eyed, lashes long enough to rival Barbie’s and dainty fingers and toes to match.

However, the picture perfect moment of me and my baby in a rocking chair didn’t’ turn out as expected. That were bouts of crying, leaky accidents and painful engorged breasts and moments of figuring what ailed my child. The first few days of adjustment were frantic with excitement, anxiety and sometimes, sheer fatigue.

We finally found a routine, one I anticipated and now, a reality. Nursing Chelcea in the rocking chair became my favorite thing to do.  Her trusting brown eyes looking into mine, as she drank noisily melted my heart. The rocking chair creaked under our weight, its legs rocking in an arc, back and forth, a rhythm swinging in tune with my lullaby. A precious moment, a snapshot to be etched in my mind forever.

Nights of rocking must have taken its toll. The spindles came apart, and I found myself and Chelcea unceremoniously dumped on the floor. The loud thud and sharp shrieks sent Ted to our door. With the nervousness of a new dad, who was still figuring how to put himself into this special mother and child bonding equation, he surveyed the damage with some measure of importance. Finally, needed in some way, he was eager to win not just one heart, but two.

With clumsy hands and glue redeemed from the bowel of the garage, he fussed over the job until the chair took shape again. He managed to plaster it back.  A feat considering he’s not the typical DIY guy. Even hanging shower curtain was a challenge.

Suffice to say the rickety chair survived three kids, one after another. Globs of glue traipsed across the back, from spindles to the arms.  The constant rocking chaffed the edges and the arms hold the indentations of my resting arms. Busted, jaded, worn and totally used but still good to go.

Kaplunk! Broken and in need of superglue....

courtesy of
courtesy of

Sitting in the driveway, my faithful rocking chair was waiting to be put into our tiny U-haul truck. Ted had told me to leave the chair behind, after all, we were done with having little ones. But no, I had told him in no uncertain terms—the chair was coming. It’s a piece of my life, my own keepsake of the joy of motherhood.

I looked on, as Ted, with the ingenuity of a jigsaw master, attempted to put the items of our whole castle into the truck. He wedged, juxtaposed, maneuvered, cajoled to maximize space to accommodate every single item on the driveway. But tried as hard as he could, the rocking chair just won’t fit.

He could unpack everything and try to rearrange but time was running out and so, he turned to me and said, “Sorry, hon, we just have to leave the chair behind.”

Glumly I got into the front seat, my three daughters in the back as Ted slid out of the driveway with the wobbling truck in tow. My eyes became a veil of mist as the rocking chair grew smaller and smaller, looking more and more forlorn in the fading driveway. I wanted to bawl but kept a straight face, lips clamped, just in case, something hurtful came out. I’m too old for temper tantrums. I glanced at Ted, to see if he felt anything about the little memento of my motherhood but he kept his eyes on the road. Silence permeated, even the kids were quiet.

Ted bought a little six by six inches cube of a box for our first anniversary in San Diego.

“Hey, I hunted all over the town for this,” he said quietly, eyes betraying his excitement.

I took the box, shook it to listen for any clues as to what would be inside this little unassuming box, “Huhh…..let me guess…..a diamond ring the size of the rock?”

He smiled. “Go on, open it. It’s more valuable than a diamond ring.”

What could be more valuable than a diamond ring?—a year’s rain checks of no dishes and laundry to do? Now, I really needed that, with three growing daughters and a demanding teacher’s job. I would have loved that.

As I peeled off the wrap, I uncovered a little figurine of a mother rocking a baby ……I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I threw my arms around Ted, “You remembered.”

“Of course, how could I forget? The mother of my kids and the love of my life. I felt terrible leaving the rocking chair behind. The least I could do was to replace it with this---not the real thing, but pretty close, don’t you think?”

I loved him then, more than I realized. He knew the intricacies of my heart. Unspoken, he saw and acted. He may not always vocalize his emotions but who needs vocalizing when actions speak louder than words?

I put the figurine on the mantel, not knowing it would hold more significance than my motherhood.

Ted passed away on the 9th of January, 2009 after a brief battle with a rare blood disease, Hemophagocytic disorder.

I miss him more than my heart can explain, more than this story can tell and more than anyone would ever know. I lost the love of my life, my best friend and the best father to our kids.

I miss him every single day. Knowing he’s with God soothes some and then, there is the rocking chair, a palpable proof of his love. I may not be able to hold Ted any more but I can always hold this keepsake and know that his love is for keeps, forever.

P.S. True story as told to me by my good friend, Eunice Cupples.

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Comments 23 comments

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

Tender memories and sad ending to a love story.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Thanks, Petra Vlah for dropping by.

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA

At the beginning i though you were telling your own story. Then I was confused about the kids... Then it became clear....

It is a very beautiful and sad story of love, friendship, understanding. Very nice done.

And as for the rocking chair.... I always dreamed about one but never had one. My precious childhood memory: my friend Oleg (whom I loved, of course) and I are sitting together in an old wicker rocking chair in his house and rocking ourselves as hard as we can. Until we are tipping over, together with the chair. We are 9 years old.... Then we moved and I never heard about Oleg.... But the picture of two little children rocking together in a wicker rocking chair is always with me.

Thanks for stirring my memories. Rated both beautiful and awesome.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

This beautiful, poignant story has me in tears. I'm so sorry for your loss. Ted sounds like he was a very special man, and you, my friend, are a very talented writer!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Vera, sorry for the confusion. I've rectified the situation--I put a little note so readers know I'm narrating a true story in the first person. Should have done that. Thanks for your kind comments and for giving me double rating--the first of a kind. And like you, I always love rocking chair. Hopefully, Oleg is reading this? Have a good one!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

habee, thanks for dropping by. Sorry for misleading u--Ted and Eunice are my friends and I'm telling the story.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I'm sorry - guess I didn't read the heading. Still a powerful, moving story! You really are a wonderful writer.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

A love story as good as any other written. And what's best is that it's true!

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coffeesnob 6 years ago

very tender story. sounds as if she loved deeply and with all her being.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Anginwu, What a well written, touching story and it so sad to lose someone you love so dearly. True stories are always the best stories even when they have a sad ending.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

LOL, habee, the fault is all mine. I realized after 2 persons before you had the same reaction. I ended up posting a little note on top. Thanks.

jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

Wow! This is so beautiful! It's a beautiful love story and it's so beautifully written!

Thanks very much for sharing my friend!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

sheila, thanks for reading this and leaving your beautiful comments.

Coffeesnob, good to see u again. She did and still does. Thanks for dropping by.

Pamela, I agree with you true stories are best even when they have a sad ending. Thanks for your comments.

Jill, how are u, my pal? Thanks for dropping by with your affirmations. Appreciate it very much.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

Beautiful story. Very touching. I feel what this woman feels every time I visit my old house in Bangkok. Almost every piece of furniture reminds me of my late grandma and my good old days with her. :)

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

From what I gather, you must be really close to your grandma--what a blessing. I never met my grandparents, they passed on before I was even born. Guess what, Om? I'm in Singapore to visit family. Just got here and I promise myself a lot of good food--haha--will be eating myself silly with all the good treats tempting me at every street corner. And of course, some good family times.

Have a great day!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

Yeah, my grandma was the most special person. I miss her even more than my mom (but shhhhhh don't let my mom know that). Have a wonderful time in Singapore! Savor everything you eat! =D

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Om, you had a really special thing going. i've a couple of friends who are actually closer to their grandmas than their own mother. In both cases, theri moms seem more interested in their own social lives than theirs and their grandmas stepped in to fill the gap. Both felt tremendous loss when they passed on.

I'll be enjooooyiing the food and hopefully, the heat and humidity.

Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

I used to work in a collectible store where Precious Moments were sold. Some of the stories behind the reasons for starting such a keepsake collectible or owning that one special piece were always centered around heartwarming sometimes heart wrenching sad stories like this one.

But to see the expression of joy that comes on the individual's face from this little figurine proves that it is indeed does offer a priceless memory. Thanks for sharing your friend's story. Rating awesome just like you. :)

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

MG, thanks for sharing your experiences. I agree keepsakes can be very precious, especially when they embody some sentiment. Appreciate your support very much.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

That was lovely angel, men seldom spoke or they never spoke, but they knew it, that's real love and action always speaks louder than words, Maita

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Action speaks louder than words. True love speaks as in this case. Thanks, Maita, for dropping by.

ashu 5 years ago

very very well written story do u write books ? i think u should.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

ashu, i so appreciate your kind words--i will need this every time I'm in the writer's dump. I do write memoirs, if you're ever interested. Thanks, again.

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