My Father's Bench
article placed in Tallapoosa Newspaper
His Hands Made a Bench
When I grew up, I was lucky to have the father that came along after I was born. He was my step father and the one that would raise me. He was one of the best things in my life, and who he was and the way he accepted his role in life, was to be admired by all who were fortunate enough to have known him. My father worked hard at two jobs as we kids were growing up , my two sisters and I got to share my father. He would take us places for fun and took me hunting and fishing when he got the chance. Those days will be always treasured in my memories as the good times that I was able to spend with my dad.
My father was talented in almost everything. He was a fix-er-upper in our home and took on every electrical appliance over the years. He repaired his own cars and took care of their every need, from the tires and brakes, to the engine and transmission. He was great at fixing anything in need of repair. One of his most talented abilities was in making furniture. He was skilled in this and took great pains in being a perfectionist. He made many pieces without using nails and only pegged his furniture . He made tables of all sizes. china cabinets, benches, and almost any kind found in the home, back then. One piece that I assisted him with was a deacon's bench and it took several months in which to make the large piece of furniture. I was right there helping him to hold the wood and presses that he used to put the pieces together. At last it was complete and after we admired it, we took it home to my mother, where it spent many years resting in a special place in our living room. The bench was always used at Christmas to hold the presents that were to be exchanged in our home. It was an important part of our life in those days. I asked my father if one day I might have the bench, when I was married and had a family. He promised me that I could have it and even though he gave and made my sisters several pieces too, he lived up to his word. I got presented with that bench a few weeks after I was married in the late 70's. It would be a special bench and took its place in our living room not long after that. My father and mother were in a bad automobile accident not long after that. He passed away and will always be remembered as a loving father and one who gave of himself in every way for his family, My own son called to tell me that he needed me to come move to his home and help with his wife, who was pregnant and near birthing, and he was undergoing a dangerous operation involving his heart condition. We moved and had to put a lot more furniture in storage. While we were there our bench was left in the storage facility, and later it was burglarized, now the bench was suddenly gone and out of our lives. I asked the local police to help us and reached no solution to our problem of losing our belongings, as well as our treasured bench. I learned that other antique furniture and belongings of more than thirty people, were also burglarized at the time. I wrote an editorial in the local newspaper and this did not help in finding the bench. Time has moved on and it has been now a total of fifteen years since that bench has no longer been a part of our lives. It has remained in our memories and will always be hidden away within our hearts as one of the most special parts of my father and what he meant to all of us, as we grew up and got to share his very special love in our lives. The ones who took the bench would never know what they had stolen away from each of us, and just how much that wooden bench meant to all of us. It will always be kept as one of our fondest treasured belongings, that was once a special part of our lives.