The chair. It still sits in the corner of my bedroom. I came home from church that day and had changed my clothes to go for a walk. I sat in it, enjoying the afternoon sun coming through the window next to it, when he walked in the room and standing at the foot of my bed, pointed the gun, professed his love for me, and started shooting.
The chair was my father’s favorite. I have memories of him sitting in it, in front of the fire on a Saturday, reading, listening to Saturday at the Met. The chair was surely tired and worn before I got it. My cats have used it as their scratching post, but I always feel my dad in it.
I refuse to have my husband take yet another thing from me. Although I was always happy to just give without any expectations, it was never enough for him. He wanted the very breath I took – figuratively and literally. It was a constant battle to maintain some sense of autonomy.
At the end of the day every effort, chair included, is cosmetic. There is no magic eraser. I’ve had the house painted, inside and out. Redecorated. Asked for an exorcism, had the house blessed. I’ve had surgery to repair the abdominal damage and improve the scars which continue to be problematic, a continuing reminder. Removing the chair is an outward effort that will never erase what happened. The enormity of what remains can not be tidied up, covered up, or sent away.
So I keep the chair to remind me. The chair is my victory. I am undeniably alive! I survived it-not just survived–my life is good-not at all miserable as he insisted it would be without him. Keeping the chair reminds me I am triumphant. I have managed to be happy with, to reveal even, who I am despite his best efforts.
“O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed: let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.” Psalm25:2-3
To Susan and all my private readers and commenters – ‘accepted and worthy..this is who we are now’: http://www.godcares.tv/video/708/Jason-Gray–I-Am-New