All good things must end

Long ago and well before Gibson McDonald Furniture closed its first Baxley store, I bought two “Big Man” recliners. My father was a big man and I wanted chairs he’d be comfortable in when he visited. Furthermore, the chairs were super comfortable with their big padded arms and soft blue fabric. The right arm of each chair lifted to reveal a box for magazines, tissue, Legos, etc. My children and grandchildren loved those pockets and often hid their treasures therein. We probably had those chairs for 20 years.

I vividly remember my Daddy stretched out, resting in one of them, while grandchildren ran all about his feet. His near deafness was a boon at such times. Josh liked to sleep in them, too. Many mornings I’d walk into the living room to find him in one, snuggled with Bentley the Lab.

“Josh, there’s a perfectly good bed in there empty,” I’d tell him. “Why are you sleeping in here?”

“This chair is great,” he always replied. “Why would I want to go to bed? I was sleeping very well right here until somebody woke me up.”

Bentley would roll over, open one eye, and growl, as if to corroborate his master’s statement.

As a matter of fact, Josh and Bentley may have spent one night too many in the poor chair. Bentley weighed 90 lbs. and was a bit much for the mechanism in the footrest. That part cracked some time before we actually parted with the chair. When we moved nine years ago, I gave one of the chairs to my sister. We bought Larry a new recliner, but I kept mine. I get attached to my chairs. I can’t just give them up on a whim. I’d been sitting in that chair for a long, long time.

Unfortunately, during the holidays one year, my chair finally broke. It reclined under duress but refused to return to its upright position. Every time I sat in it, it worsened a bit more, and the day finally came when I realized I’d have to buy a chair or sit on the floor to watch television. Even though our couches recline, it just was not the same. Serious TV watching demands a recliner. With television being what it is today, I never know when I’ll drift off for a nap in the middle of a program. I really need my comfort.

Reluctantly, I started to browse. Like most other people I know, I prefer to buy locally when I can, so I checked out recliners in several stores—sat in them, reclined, etc. Nothing felt right, but I admit I had less trouble getting out of the new ones. I didn’t realize just how dilapidated mine had become until I sat in those new ones. At one store, we finally found it. It sat there waiting, its blue fabric much like my old one’s.

“Try this one,” Larry suggested. “I think you’ll like it.”

Larry likes to shop as much as he likes to have surgery, so I sometimes suspect him of trying to rush me.

I liked it immediately, but I couldn’t admit that he’d found it so fast. It might be a trick. So, I tried every other chair in the store, only to come back and buy the first one we’d looked at. Right now, it’s sitting in the living room waiting for me. Its arms are soft and welcoming, its back firm and well-padded, and its new mechanism quite smooth. It should last a long time since it’s not big enough for Josh and a dog together. They’ll have to move to the couch or even the bed! Imagine--Josh actually sleeping in a bed.

When I reported to Josh that I’d replaced the chair, he said, “Mom, you’re not going to throw that chair away, are you? Some people would love to have it.”

“Josh, it’s torn up. That’s why I replaced it. If it were usable, I’d still be sitting in it,” I told him.

“But, Mom, at least try to find someone to give it to. It’s been a great old chair.”

Suddenly I realized that he’d become sentimentally attached to that blue chair, too. Sorry, Josh. It’s a hard lesson, but all good things must end.

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