It's been a book theme I've visited a few times, almost always brought back to my attention when the illness or recuperation of a loved one places me back in that place again.
We've all been there, at the bedside of an ailing loved one, often times running to and fro on errands of support and entertainment more than sitting and offering quiet compassion. Both are critical to the patient patient. But that chair becomes ever more sacred in those hours of pain and fear, when only the trusted comforter is present.
There were childhood illnesses where I played the nursing mother, gratifying every possible want while being paid with the willingness of busy legs to temporarily slow, allowing me to once again enjoy the closeness, the need, the soft cuddling that would depart as soon as fevers broke, throats healed and sniffles dried. I remember how amazing it was to feel an already widely opened mother's heart expand even more, to love even more, to feel that fierce protectiveness even over a teen who could tower over me on a good day.
We've had some very painful stretches in that chair, by their own beds, in hospital beds, and curled up beside them on sofas. Some were passing worries. Some were life-altering and enduring--a husband's heart-attack and the long road to feeling safe and strong again; a daughter languishing while waiting for a kidney transplant and then the long recuperation that followed; a son air-flighted to Shock Trauma after a near-fatal car crash that left his knee dashed and his dreams of a college football career in tatters; waiting to see if an operation would restore life to another son's dying femur, and then again, three years later, watching him suffer with Lymes Disease while the baseball draft and his professional future, seemed to ebb beyond his grasp.
Some big dreams died while I sat in that chair. That's when a mother knows that the comforter's chair sits at the ready to heal souls as well bodies, though souls often require more time, more patience and skills we often don't realize we possess. We grow wiser and more humble, helping loved ones exchange those lost dreams in for different ones . . . in some cases better ones.
I'm in that chair again, sitting by my husband. He's doing fine and he'll be better than he's been in along while as a result. So I'm grateful . . . so grateful, knowing I can always reach from this chair to the real Comforter, and pray for wisdom, for patience, for Divine healing.
It is a sacred chair. We each have one. We've each sat there. Haven't we?