A Sense of Spirit · blessings · dad · daughter · memories · Mum · spirituality

The Final Hour

My father had this photo of my mother, at age twenty-one, enlarged and framed after mum was gone.
My father had this photo of my mother, taken when she was twenty-one years old, enlarged and framed after mum was gone.

It was on this day, a Monday morning twenty-three years ago, that I said goodbye to my mother. I could have said she died, or that she went to heaven, but I don’t feel comfortable with either of those terms, as she is still with me today.

After so many years, some of the details have escaped my mind – was she in hospital at the end for one week, or was it two? How many days did my eldest sister and father sit at her bedside, from morning until night, awaiting the inevitable, wanting to be with her when she took her last breath? Why did the two of them ask me to try not to cry in front of her, as I watched her slip away?

So many years have passed and a million new memories have been made, yet I remember the significant details of this particular morning, twenty-three years ago, as if it happened only yesterday.

My youngest child was nine months old. At 9:00am, I dropped my two older children off at school and pre-school. I left home that morning planning to head home immediately, do a few chores and visit mum in the afternoon. But The Universe (or whatever the force was) had other plans for me. I found myself turning off the main road and heading to the hospital to see mum first.

Why did I make that choice? To this day I still have no idea. But as it turned out, that impulsive decision would lead to one of the most significant and memorable times in my lifetime.

My baby and I entered an empty room, all but for my mother laying silently in the single, metal hospital bed. Mum liked a soft mattress and I often lamented the board-like shelves they liked to call ‘beds’ in this place and wished my mother could beat this demon that kept her imprisoned in the stark cell. I wanted to see her return home to her pretty purple and gold bedroom, the one she had taken such care to decorate. But that wasn’t to be.

I felt so at ease sitting beside mum’s bed. She had become comatose sometime during the weekend yet I felt sure she knew I was there. She could hear me, I knew it, so I spoke to her. I told her that my baby and I were visiting her, that my father and sister hadn’t arrived yet, that we were alone. I looked at her hands, the right hand holding the left, and took a mental photograph of her hands, to hold within my heart forever. I never, ever wanted to forget my mother’s healing hands, her creative hands, the hands given to her to carry out deeds of kindness during her time on this earth.

I touched mum’s snowy white hair. It felt so soft, even during her time of illness. It was so fine, so beautiful…I told mum that I wanted to remember every detail of how she looked, so that when she had gone, I could see her any time I wanted to in my mind’s eye.

About half an hour had passed, yet my father and sister still hadn’t arrived at the hospital. I expected them to bustle in at any moment, interrupting my visit with mum. They arrived early every day. Something held them up that day and I was glad for the time I could spend alone with mum.

After a while, it occurred to me that mum may have slipped away. Her chest wasn’t moving, but when I touched her face I felt the warmth of the skin on her delicate, fair face, and I admired the beautiful English complexion that I had inherited from her. And when I looked closely, I saw a pulse beating in her neck. She was still alive.

During my childhood, my mother had visited various sooth-sayers. She needed to know what the future held and constantly sought guidance. Mum’s mother had died when mum was only ten and mum told me that she always felt the spirit of her mother beside her, guiding her, protecting her. As her daughter, I had no doubt whatsoever that my mother was the wisest person in the world. She knew the answers to every question imaginable and if she lacked the definitive answer, she had an opinion. Mum’s wisdom, to me, expanded the bounds of earthly comprehension, yet she doubted her abilities. To reassure both myself and my mother during that last visit, I told her she could continue to contact me, that if she ever wanted to speak to me all she need do was send me a sign, I would be waiting and know it was her, and I would visit someone clairvoyant so she could pass messages onto me.

I looked around the private hospital room at the white walls, trying to see what it was that my mother had seen before slipping into a coma. During previous visits, as I sat beside her watching her sleep, her eyes would suddenly spring wide open, yet she didn’t seem to see me there. She would look around the room at something only she could see. One day I asked her what she saw when she looked around the room and she told me they were closing the door soon. I looked at the bulky, grey sliding door and asked her why they would bother closing it and she shook her head no, repeating, they are closing the door soon.

The resident psychologist had visited my mother’s room a few times while I was at the hospital and after mum speaking so adamantly about the door closing, I found the psychologist and asked her if she could decipher the meaning of what mum said. I told her I didn’t think mum meant the physical door of the room. The psychologist told me she had heard the same thing said many times before by patients who only had a few days left to live. She assured me that there was more going on around us than we could see and that the years in her profession had provided more questions than answers. I asked her if she thought that mum’s ‘door’ was the door to heaven. She didn’t know that it was the door to heaven as such, but strongly believed it to be a door to another place, a place that we couldn’t go to.

Being around my mother during the last weeks of her time on earth, watching her changing actions and hearing her cryptic words taught me lessons she didn’t realise she was giving me. I had always suspected there was more happening around us than what we could see with our eyes, but twenty-three years ago I was still sceptical. Now, thanks to the lessons that my mother still gives me, I feel another dimension of life surrounding me. I know there is more to this world, more to human beings, than the physical aspect.

My mother seemed so alone and vulnerable, lying in that dreadful hospital bed and I knew that mum hated being alone. While I enjoyed (and still do, to this day) time spent alone with my own thoughts, mum was the opposite. She needed to be surrounded by people, otherwise she felt neglected and alone.

Before I left the hospital room on that final day, I said goodbye to my mother. Every time I left her prior to that day, I would tell her when I would return, saying to her ‘see you later’. I couldn’t let her go. This day, I knew I had to.

After buckling my baby girl back into her car seat that morning, after leaving my mother for what would be the last time, I switched on the car motor and the radio came on – playing ‘Mum’s Song’ – Eric Carmen’s ‘All By Myself’…

I’d only been home long enough to tidy up the breakfast dishes when my husband arrived home. He just looked at me, saying nothing. I asked him if she was gone, yet it was more of a statement than a question.

Minutes later, dad phoned me. He and my sister had arrived at the hospital just after I left, only to be met by a nurse…

He told me the nurse had seen me leave the room. Moments before leaving, I had seen the pulse beating in my mother’s neck. When the nurse walked in, just after I said goodbye to my mum, she was gone.

For twenty-three years I have waited to write mum’s story in its entirety, yet couldn’t. It’s difficult to write through tears and my heart couldn’t cope with the sadness. This year, I can write from the place of a beautiful memory. There are no tears, although if I heard Eric Carmen’s song at this very moment, I’m sure the tears would begin…

It’s not easy saying goodbye to your life-line. That’s how I felt on that Monday morning, twenty-three years ago today. I didn’t realise it then, but losing the physical presence of my mother was a gift…

For the next five years, up until dad decided to join mum on another August day, my father became a real person to me. Without my dominant, chatty mother around, we became close and I learned how much alike we were. He, like me, enjoyed his alone time, yet there were times when dad and I would sit and talk for hours. During a five-year period in time, I got to know my father. He told me his stories, from his point of view. Dad supported me, yet allowed me to fall. Mum had always been afraid to see me get hurt, protecting me to the nth degree. Through her love for her child, she unknowingly impeded my growth. Dad gave me my wings and set me free.

My mother has never left me. There is a golden thread that joins our souls, a thread which can never be broken for eternity. Mum knows now that she must allow me to grow. She gives me the freedom to handle things my way, whilst standing beside me every step of the way. She doesn’t need to have all of the answers for me any more – I can find my own truths, yet she often sends me messages. I never visited a clairvoyant, I don’t need to; I feel mum’s guidance when I need her.

I love my mother to the depths of the deepest ocean and to the heights and width of The Universe. I know she arranged the time I had alone with her that last morning, with the help of those in the room who I couldn’t see. When I said the word goodbye to her and after she knew I had left the room, they helped her to close the door behind me.

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A Sense of Spirit · authenticity · gardening · gratitude · photography · remembering · spirituality

My Year in Review, Through Authentic Eyes.

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A continuing joy to my every day is the visit from my feathered friends.

Deja vu closely followed the thought, “It doesn’t seem that long ago since I last decorated the house for Christmas”. I thought the exactly same thing, whilst decorating the house during December 2013. Where has the year gone?

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In May, this tree flowered profusely, to the delight of both myself, and the Rainbow Lorikeets.

 

And now, it’s the last day of 2014, and as I ponder whether 2014 has been either a good year or bad, I realise that, for me, it has been a year of learning. Everything has happened for a reason. And I haven’t resisted the changes that have occurred, realising that I am in the right place, at the right time, and everything happens just as it should, when it is ready to happen. The way it is meant to be.

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I love taking photos in the rain, the moody light adds so much warmth to the photos.

 

I re-read my first post of this year, remembering, as I have continually remembered throughout 2014, my chosen word for this year ~ “Authentic”.

I have planted a lot of old-fashioned hydrangeas in the garden this year.
I have planted a lot of old-fashioned hydrangeas in the garden this year.

We are old friends now, this word and I. At the beginning of the year, I felt their presence constantly. We had to get to know each other; we were virtual strangers, passing each other throughout my life thus far like ships in the night.

Cockatoos visited my garden on the morning of my birthday in May, when my dear friend, Keith, was visiting Australia and staying with me and my family for a few days.
Cockatoos visited my garden on the morning of my birthday in May, when my dear friend, Keith, was visiting Australia and staying with me and my family for a few days.

Oh how I had wished to jump on board that ship! My authentically beautiful friend must have known the feelings and longings of my heart, as this year, they did not give up on the hopeless cause of this mere human, filled with faults and uncertainties. No, this year, when the ship of authenticity drew up beside me, and threw out a life-boat, with just a molecule of trepidation, I dragged myself into the calming warmth of their being. And how quickly we noticed the way we could co-exist, half way between my physical life and the true soul of my inner being.

I have decided that Allamandas are the single most photogenic flowers in my garden.
I have decided that Allamandas are the single most photogenic flowers in my garden.

In contemplating a new word for 2015, I feel myself continually pulled toward my Authentic self, not wishing to leave this relatively new friend behind, as I venture into another year on earth. And whilst I know that my Authenticity will continue into tomorrow, and all the other tomorrow’s that in my life I will enjoy, next year will see a progression of my new-found contentment. What that word will be, as yet, I do not know. My word is still searching for me. Authenticity is screening every word that crosses my path, so when my word arrives, I can feel assured that the right extension of this year has found me.

When I added a hanging basket to the back veranda, a Noisy Minor thought the basket insert would be just the thing to add comfort to her nest.
When I added a hanging basket to the back veranda, a Noisy Minor thought the basket insert would be just the thing to add comfort to her nest.

As I cast my mind back over this year, the day before it changes its status to “last year”, my first thoughts are of Tess. Her gentle canine soul has warmed my heart during so many moments this year. I still feel the sting of tears when I remember her physical presence is gone, even though my Black Velvet girl sits beside me as I remember her love and loyalty.

My Begonia sits in a pot on the front veranda, and amazes me every year, as I watch the brown soil shoot new green growth into the world!
My Begonia sits in a pot on the front veranda, and amazes me every year, as I watch the brown soil shoot new green growth into the world…and further, produce the most brilliant flowers!

I know with every ounce of love in my heart that when my next fury friend is ready to find me, she will. But she isn’t ready to come to me yet, and I believe there is a reason why this is so. This year, in September, my son Adam brought home his girl, Forrest, and whilst I love this baby girl dearly, I know she is not for me. She is a loan-puppy, just the same as Porter and Bella, who moved back home with their “parents” in August. They will be leaving again when their new home is built, and the “family of five”, which includes the gorgeous Sammy cat, will settle into their own little spot of Paradise.

Tess has her own garden now, in a shady area beside the pool. I planted a Fushsia in Tess's Garden a few months ago, hoping it would be happy there, and as you can see, it is.
Tess has her own garden now, in a shady area beside the pool. I planted a Fuchsia in Tess’s Garden a few months ago, hoping it would be happy there, and as you can see, it is.

A part of my Authentic year has kept me away from blogging. My Muse completely disappeared for a while there, although for the first time, I have consistently kept a daily diary, the old-fashioned, hand-written kind, recording events of the day, both mundane and significant. A personal record of my year, which I will continue into 2015.

Father & Son ~ The mottled Magpie is one of three baby birds I had the pleasure of hand feeding during this year.
Father & Son ~ The mottled Magpie is one of three baby birds I had the pleasure of hand feeding during this year.

My Muse has pulled up the most comfortable chair right now, and is making themselves feel right at home on my right shoulder, (Tess is to my left,) sharing the words and feelings that have often escaped me during this year. Will they remain? Will 2015 be The Year of The Muse? Only time will tell.

During May, I helped my son, Ben, renovate his investment unit. The Tweed River runs behind the block of units where I found a peaceful and welcome oasis from the chores.
During May, I helped my son, Ben, renovate his investment unit. The Tweed River runs behind the block of units where I found a peaceful and welcome oasis from the chores.

Dear friends, as I feel my way into a New Year, I will share a small verse that I discovered the other day. The words struck a chord of love for me, as in spending the last year being true to myself, my feelings, my thoughts and desires, I have also learned to accept the flaws in myself, as well as in others. Mostly in others. Authenticity has invited acceptance into my world, acceptance of both people and events. Furthermore, a knowing that I create my own happiness, my own contentment, my own world. And so do you.

Another new plant in Tess's Garden, a sweetly fragranced Gardenia.
Another new plant in Tess’s Garden, a sweetly fragranced Gardenia.

This is ME….
I am not perfect
I live on the planet Earth where humans live
Humans are not perfect
Never have been, Never will be
So I don’t always wear the right clothes
I don’t always use the right shoes
My memory sometimes fails me
I don’t look like a fashion model
I don’t cook like a French chef
I don’t always do what people expect of me
I am human, I am IMPERFECT
But there is no one else like me in this whole wide world
I am unique, I am a MIRACLE
I am what I am
Nothing more, Nothing less
So therefore; Love me for what I am
Not for what you want me to be!
~Yvve Berglund~

Our pets live their lives true to Authenticity ~ we can learn so much from them, and they accept us, just as we are. :)
Our pets live their lives true to Authenticity ~ we can learn so much from them, including acceptance. 🙂

 

 

Australia · photography · remembering · respect

Trial Bay Gaol.

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You may recall a post I wrote in September of last year. It’s an easy story to remember if you visited around that time, as I showed you photos of a pair of adult kangaroos, hopping around behind the bars of the entry to the disused Trial Bay Gaol, along with their joey.

It might be an idea to take a moment to look back at these beautiful animals, to either jog your memory, or take a first look, so here’s the link ~

Can you spot the kangaroos?
Can you spot the kangaroos?

If you look very carefully at the photo above, up towards the building on the right hand side patch of grass, you will see how I first saw this adorable family. They eyed me for a moment or two before approaching, although little joey wasn’t too keen on coming face to face with a fur-less, two-legged creature holding a black box that made clicking sounds, and quickly scurried into its mama’s pouch! I did manage to take a few photos of him though, before he disappeared into her pouch, head first!

Way back, in the days of the open gaol.
Way back, in the days of the open gaol.

Work began on the building of the gaol in 1876, although it wasn’t completed until 1886, due to “difficulties in working the hard stone, inconsistent funding and contractual problems”. A southern wing was added to the gaol in 1900, yet three years later the building was closed.

Barred, yet beautiful.
Barred, yet beautiful.

I prefer to see the gaol as a lovely, historic building. Even though I realise there is a need for prisons, as not all folk in society deserve to be integrated in our day to day life due to their own bad judgement in their actions, it bothers me to think of the way men were treated in the early days of Australia. Many men, and women as well, were judged as criminals for the slightest misdemeanor. I can imagine the number of tormented souls who continue to walk the halls of this ruin. It’s not a part of history that Australia should be proud of. But I suppose all countries have parts of their history that they wish to be not spoken of.

What a view!
What a view!

In an article I read, Trial Bay Gaol is described as “an experiment with humane prison reform”, so I would take that as a positive sign that the powers that be of the time were questioning the old ways of treating prisoners. On the other hand though, the gaol only remained in use for twenty-six years ~ perhaps the experiment wasn’t a success!

The view from the building is amazing though, looking out across the ocean from the top of a hill, from what is now regarded as a “Heritage Listed Building”.

Trial Bay Gaol is located at South West Rocks, and while I was visiting the area with my son Adam last year, he guided the way to a lighthouse there that he knew of, telling me that I would love taking photos of the area. He wasn’t wrong. And I will show you those photos next time. 🙂

A Sense of Spirit · Australia · daughter · photography · son

Two Posts in One…or Two Countries…or Too Much?!

A church in New York.
A church in New York.

I really have no idea where the whole of last week went to. Do you suppose I could blame my broken down dishwasher for my lack of writing time? I could if I wanted to, but really, I’m still enjoying hand washing my cups, dishes and plates every night, and even though this spare part which is on order for the repairs has already taken double the estimated time to arrive, I’m in no hurry to hassle the repair guy to have it fixed. I’m finding dishwashing rather therapeutic at the end of a long day. 🙂

The building of the new World Trade Centre.
The building of the new World Trade Centre.

I did spend a lot of time away from home last week actually, some time spent on work related events and some on pleasure, so while you look through the rest of the New York photos that my son Ben has given me to show you all, I will tell you about my pleasurable adventures.

Memorials at Gound Zero.
Memorials at Ground Zero.

I’ve said it before, but Ben really did enjoy his eight-day stay in New York City. I would rather like to go there myself one day, although eight days would be way too much time in the big city for this quiet blogger! Ben seemed to have been quite moved by his visit to the Ground Zero memorials and seeing the new building in progress there. He vividly remembers the unbelievable news hitting Australia on the morning of 9/11 as do we all.

New building against the blue spring skies.
New building against the blue spring skies.

So, back to last week. Ben and my eldest daughter Hayley had bought me a beautiful oil painting on canvas, about four years ago now, which required framing. An unnamed party had promised to have it framed for me, so the canvas had waited patiently on the shelf in my cupborad for four long years, waiting. With Mother’s Day approaching last Sunday, one day during the week Hayley had asked me if there was anything I could think of that I would specifically like to be given as a Mother’s Day gift.

9/11 Memorials.
9/11 Memorials.

Apparently (according to Hayley) I am a very easy person to buy for, as I like so many things and have so many interests! That’s good to know, as some people are absolutely impossible to please! So I gave her question some thought and soon remembered my lovely oil painting, awaiting a frame. Ben and Hayley are again going shares in this gift, but Hayley asked me if I would like to go with her to the framing shop to choose a frame that I would be happy with.

White roses.
White roses.

I suggested we make a lunch date of it, inviting my other daughter Emma to come along as well, so off the three of us went to see a man who Hayley had spoken to on the phone.

Choosing a frame for my lovely painting turned out to be quite the memorable experience. As a general rule, I take people as I find them, but I must admit that I found this picture framing shop proprietor to be just a tad, shall we say, over the top with his comments?

Firstly, he asked my daughter how much she had paid for the painting, rude to begin with, I thought, followed by, “I hope you didn’t pay any more than $20.00 for it”!!

Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn Bridge.

Throughout the course of us choosing a frame, he managed to insult the colours of my home, explained to him by my girls in an effort to have him show us the desired coloured frames, and he also laughed profusely at his own jokes…..which I would describe as sarcastic comments rather than jokes.

So whilst The Obnoxious One guffawed away to himself, my girls and I had a great old time, ignoring him, and helping ourselves to various coloured frames which we sat beside the painting.

Bustling New York.
Bustling New York.

Digressing slightly, is the above photo Times Square, can anyone tell me? Ben and his mates were in Times Square one morning and were approached by someone giving away free tickets to the David Letterman Show. All they needed to do was answer some simple USA topical questions, which none of them knew the answers to being freshly arrived from Australia, so blatant hints were handed out, they won their three free tickets to the show and had a great time applauding throughout the show on queue and laughing loudly when requested!

Central Park.
Central Park.

Now, back to the framing shop, where my daughters and I had made our choice of frame, being ultimately my choice, although my daughters both agreed they could see it looking wonderful where I had told them both I would be hanging my painting. The Obnoxious One disagreed with my choice, adding, “You’ll probably end up having your own way, women usually do”…..okay, is it just me? Was that rude and insulting? Although I didn’t voice the words, I did think, “You’re darn tootin’ I’ll get my way!” Geeeezzzz……..

Central Park against the buildings of New York.
Central Park against the buildings of New York.

Between guffaws, The Obnoxious One did relate a very interesting story, of how he had taken a recent delivery of framed pictures from a deceased estate. Almost an entire family had been killed in an accident, with one remaining survivor, and the spirits of the deceased had helped him, he claimed, with frame choices since they arrived.

I wonder if the spirits had mentioned to him the old adage, “The customer is always right”? 😉

Spring in Central Park.
Spring in Central Park.

Back to the USA, and here we are in Central Park. Ben told me that the park was positively huge, and they didn’t have the opportunity to cover the whole area. I had rather hoped he would find John Lennon’s memorial area of “Strawberry Fields”, but unfortunately not.

Apparently one day, a huge crowd was clustering in an area where a celebrity had arrived, causing great excitement in the area. It turned out to be Ricky Martin, who is this year one of the judges on the Australian version of “The Voice”, and what a very lovely man he seems to be too.

Looking over the water from Central Park.
Looking over the water from Central Park.

After stamping my foot in a most polite and woman-like fashion, getting my way and ordering my picture frame from The Obnoxious One, Hayley, Emma and I went back to Coolangatta for an alfresco lunch of sushi, just across the road from Coolangatta Beach. Emma passed me some chopsticks to eat my sushi with, followed by instructions on how to use them, telling me “It’s easy, mum!” I’m happy to say that most of the delicious sushi reached my mouth (apart from that one piece that dropped, then proceeded to fly across the table, nearly landing in Emma’s lap!)

Hmm….next time, I’m asking for a fork!

Katz's Delicatessan.
Katz’s Delicatessan, apparently a very famous deli in New York.

In other last-week-related-news, I decided to stop adding posts to one of my other blogs, “A Sense of Spirit”, not due to lack of interest, but rather because I am finding more and more that the posts I’m adding here at Home Life usually relate to spirit in some way anyway. It seems to me that the two blogs do not have separate purposes, so I have transferred all the content from “A Sense of Spirit” across to this blog, tagging all the posts with “A Sense of Spirit” for easy finding. Combining the two seemed like the sensible thing to do.

Wall Street.
Wall Street.

Ben’s last three photos here of Wall Street, the Stock Exchange and the Trump Building seem to me to be very “Ben-ified” places to visit. He is, and always has been fascinated by the workings of the stock market and is the most amazingly disciplined person with money that I have ever met in my life!

Not only is he first-rate when it comes to saving money, he can keep a secret like no one else I know. As a two year old, I would tell him, “Don’t let anyone know what their Christmas present is, it’s a surprise” and that boy wouldn’t breathe a word, not for any amount of coaxing in the world!

The Stock Exchange.
The Stock Exchange.

I seem to have waffled on a bit today, so hope I haven’t sent anyone to sleep with my ramblings.

Please do let me know if I have labeled any of Ben’s photos incorrectly. In the next leg of the trip, he and his mates headed south to Nashville and he loved it there too. I think it’s safe to say that Ben loved his trip to America.

The Trump Building.
The Trump Building.

Finally, here are the links to all the posts I have transferred across from “A Sense of Spirit”. Please do not feel obliged to read all or any of them, they are just here for anyone who may be interested. I do, however, recommend reading “The Optimist’s Creed”, very sage words indeed. I wish I had written them!

Believe in yourself.

The Optimist’s Creed.

A Chair to Remember.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

The Souls we remain with throughout time.

A Synopsis of Spirituality.

The Car with Spirit.

Finding Uncle Albert.

A Bond that Lasts for Eternity.

Thoughts as I press my nose against the window of life.

Taking our own advice.

A Sense of Spirit · remembering · spirituality

A Chair to Remember.

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It’s always as the weather cools down that I think about my chair, remembering how it noticed me, wandering around the furniture section of a large department store, waiting for me patiently, knowing that it would only be a matter of time until I swooped upon it and declared my undying love for its fabric, colour, style and form.

But the story of the love for my chair didn’t begin that day; it goes back many, many years.

The month was May, I had just become an auntie for the second time and I had also just celebrated my ninth birthday. The only home I remembered living in during my few short years on this earth had been sold, a brand new house was in the process of being built. I was soon to start attending a new school.

So many changes were taking place, changes that my heart resisted, yet changes I had absolutely no control over. I simply had to put all of my faith into my parents, believing that their decision to make so many changes in my life would turn out for the best, that I would be happy at my new school, and living in my new home.

Meanwhile, as we awaited the building of our new home, we would be living at a fully furnished rental property, not far from the home we had just left, and I continued to go to my old school.

From the very first moment that I walked through the front gate of the rental property, I fell in love with that home. The house was old, the front garden was filled with flowers, and even the front door welcomed me.

On the other side of the most inviting front door I had ever had the pleasure of walking through was the most heart-warming room I had ever entered, with a fireplace in one corner, lace curtains at the windows and a solid three-piece lounge suite surrounding the fireplace.

I felt blissfully happy in this room! At night, while the burning wood crackled away in the fireplace, warming the room as it warmed my heart, my cat would be curled up asleep on the mat in front of the fireplace and I would curl up in one of the single-seater lounge chairs, legs curled up beside me, rug over my knees, reading my “Famous Five” and “Secret Seven” mystery stories, or working on my latest craft project, which always involved knitting something.

Oh how I wished I could take that lounge suite with us when we had to leave this wonderful old home! But of course, I couldn’t, it didn’t belong to me, (besides which, my mother detested that “horrible old furniture”!) But this chair comforted me, when my whole world was changing.

Throughout my entire adult life, when shopping for any lounge room furniture, my memory would travel back in time to my old lounge chair as I tried to find it again.

In the late 1980’s I did come close to recreating my ideal “sofa situation”, when a rose covered sofa bed discovered me. Of course, I took it home, how could I not? But it just wasn’t quite my favourite sofa, reincarnate. I’ve since had the sofa recovered and it remains a favourite.

Not quite the chair I was searching for, but almost.
Not quite the chair I was searching for, but almost.

In my mind, my decision had already been made, I simply wouldn’t purchase another lounge chair ever again, until my chair-of-perfection, the reincarnation of my old childhood favourite chair, found me, until I found it again.

On the day that my chair did find me however, it had been promised to another, but regardless, my heart was brimming with joy over knowing it existed! Immediately upon sitting in my chair, which wasn’t mine, in the large department store that day, I spoke to the sales woman and wouldn’t you know it, as I told her of my life-long search for this chair, how I imagined sitting my coffee cup on the chair’s wide arm, legs curled up beside me, reading my book or working on my latest knitting project, the sales women told me how she would sit in this chair herself whenever the opportunity to do so arose. During quiet moments throughout her work day, when she had any paperwork to complete, it was this very chair that she chose to relax in.

Just the place for a coffee cup.
Just the place for a coffee cup.

She invited me to take off my shoes and curl my legs up beside me, just to try out the total “feel” of the chair and I told her that I simply could not do that, as this chair belonged to another and I couldn’t soil their new chair by sitting in it that way.

You may be thinking by now that I could have easily just ordered one of these chairs, seeing as I loved it so much, and you would be right in assuming this could be done, however….the cost of my chair was the equivalent to a king’s ransom! And being a display chair, the chair already promised to another was being sold at a seventy-five percent discount!

I left the store that day, telling the sales woman, who now felt like an old friend, that I hoped the chair’s new owners enjoyed many happy years with their new purchase, and I would save up to buy one of my own.

The next morning, it occurred to me that perhaps another chair could be located in another store, at the same heavily discounted price, so I phoned the store and asked to speak to the sales woman from the day before, knowing she would remember me. She wasn’t there.

I told the woman on the other end of the telephone how I longed for that chair, yet couldn’t justify paying the full price, no matter how much I longed for it.  She immediately recognised me from having spoken to the other sales lady the day before, and agreed that she would phone around to other stores during the day, in search of another chair. I left my name and phone number with her and we said goodbye.

Within less than an hour, she had phoned me. She has some news for me. She hadn’t had the opportunity to phone any other stores as yet, however she had received a phone call, and from those who my chair was promised to ~ they had decided not to take it!

My heart leapt and I did a happy-dance around my room, my chair really was mine, it wanted me as much as I wanted it!! I could collect my chair that day (no, said I, delivery won’t be necessary, my husband owns a ute, he will collect it immediately!) and not only that, that same day, a matching chair was located in another store and I would receive it within a few days also!

All the neccessities, close at hand.
All the necessities, close at hand.

The warmth of spirit that came to me through my chair that day remains to this day.  Every member of my family has taken their turn in trying to “steal” my chair from me, but I will not allow it! It is only on days that someone is feeling sad or unwell, that I will share my chair with them, knowing the comfort that it brings. Even my cats love my chair and I am sure that they too feel the comforting aura of this special piece of furniture.

The weather is cooling down now, it is autumn, the same season as it was more-years-than-I-care-to-remember ago, and I spend my nights again curled up in my chair, blanket over my knees, coffee on the arm of the chair, books and knitting project at hand, enjoying the chair whose spirit finally found my own.

Two yeras ago I went back to look at the old home, where I had found my chair. It isn't how I remember it now, having been modernised over the years and the old front gate is gone, but the legacy of so many aspects live on today in my own home.
Two years ago I went back to look at the old home, where I had found my chair. It isn’t how I remember it now, having been modernised over the years and the old front gate is gone, but the legacy of so many aspects of this home live on today in my home.