The Rocking Chair
Can not say how old I might have been, but I know I could walk and yet small enough that I cuddled easily into anybody's arms. It was then, my earliest memory exists. It was some lodge in some woods at a Wilder Family reunion. I remember men dressed in the black and red flannel shirts, woman dressed in some white or beige sweaters, Capri pants, Bobbi socks and white canvas shoes. The whole family was gathered in a circle around a long wooden table. I was minding my own business, in my own little world, when one of my brothers lifted me up and started to hand me to the next person.
As a small child, I never let anyone but immediate family touch me. I would scream every time an Aunt or Uncle tried to love on me. Let's just say I had a few security issues while a toddler! As they handed me from arm to arm with smiles and laughter, I began to well up tears in my big baby blue eyes! About half way through the circle they sat me in my Grandmother's lap at the head of the table.
I remember looking up at her wrinkled face and watching it light up into a smile. She was my father's Irish Mother. I remember her grey hair was always neat and must of been long because it was always braided and wound around the crown of her head or in a huge bun. She was usually in a wheel chair and as I sat in her lap, I felt the creepiness of the chair, but I remained still cause my mother was giving me one of those powerful faces. I am equally sure that I still had smeared on my face a powerful pouty look!
Soon, Grandmother Vada tugged at a brown lunch sack and placed it on the table in front of me. She encouraged me to look in it. Seeing everyone watching me, shyness quickly took over and I sat stupid, until she reached from the top of the bag a small miniature rocking chair! My sour little shy face soon melted into curiosity and the family laughed, however, my mother smiled, but looked troubled just the same. It was but a minute and she had possession of my gift and only allowed me to get two pieces out with a promise to see the rest when we get home. So off to a corner I went with two little miniature pieces, one being the rocking chair, and off to my own little world.
After we got home that evening, I remember having to beg to see some more of the miniatures and finally my mother let me have a few more pieces. A dresser drawer set and night stand, along with a chair made up the other miniatures allowed in my world. The rocking chair was my favorite...it really rocked!
After play time was over, my mother explained to me that these things were too small for me to have all the time. I tried hard to understand, but did little to curb my want of seeing them. With her promise to put them away for when I get a year older, I reluctantly turned over my only gift I would remember from Grandmother Vada.
Not too long after, my Grandmother was put into a nursing home. She had Alzheimer's and my Grandfather could no longer take care of her properly. By the time I turned six years old, she crossed over. Never again did I ever see those miniatures or be that near Grandmother Vada. On a few occasions, I would ask my mother about them and she tells me, I must of made it up or she could not remember them. But I remember them still and in my mind I can still see the rocking chair "rocking" and the smile spreading on Grandmother's wrinkled face.
My grandmother and I made a bond however invisible that attachment was to others. I think of her often and still see that same face. Just like a rocking chair can soothe a young child with the sway, my memory of Grandmother Vada, however little, still moves my heart with love. Thank you Grandma for that one special moment!