Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Big Chair

Hey there,

Well...The Big Chair has been replaced.

Many people are familiar with The Big Chair.

For those of you who are not and would like to familiarize yourself with it you can read my book :-).

The Big Chair is an over sized fluffy chair with an ottoman on wheels that Bob came home with about 10 years ago. I can still see him carrying it up the stairs to the guest room in our old house and I can still see my sister, Anne, and I carrying it down the stairs to the living room so Bob could sit in it after he could no longer manage the stairs.

The chair has had many purposes over the years and is well loved by all who sit in it. Currently The Big Chair has been inhabiting the honored corner spot of our sun room and not a day passes without someone curled up or sprawled out in it reading.

The Big Chair is not aging well.

It won't come clean and it's fluffiness has become less fluffy. The dog chewed the ottoman and the cats ruined the arms and, frankly, I am growing weary of yelling at the boys about using the ottoman as an indoor scooter. (shouldn't they have grown out of that by now?) Plus, with the ever increasing animal population around here I am forever working at keeping the house smelling fresh and inviting and not like two cats, one dog and two gerbils live here.

It was time for a new chair.

But it's The Big Chair.

I thought it might just be me. This would not be the first time I have held on to something for sentimental reasons and then I can't remember what the sentimental reason was. Or I save something for the boys and then the boys don't recognize the significance of the item. But when I told Henry the plan to replace The Big Chair his eyes started to water immediately and his face took on a strained look.

"But The Big Chair brings back so many memories," he told me. His bottom lip was literally quivering.

Then my eyes started to water and I felt a tug to my heart.

Shit, we can't get rid of The Big Chair.

But we really needed to get something new for the sun room, really, I knew that intellectually.

All three boys came with us shopping and we chose an awesome leather love seat that reclines! The boys loved it at the store. But last night when we started moving The Big Chair to make room for the new love seat that was being delivered today Henry panicked. And then I did too. I started frantically taking measurements under Henry's loft in the boys room.

We could do it, it would be tight, but we could do it.

The Big Chair could fit under the loft if we removed the desk and moved the book shelf. Who needs a desk anyway? It isn't as if the boys ever studied at it. In fact the desk is only used to store all their junk. But getting The Big Chair into the room was going to be another story.(please keep in mind we have three boys in a 10x11room)

It is a Big Chair after all.

I went to talk to Mike about the move. He looked at me with some trepidation and went to the room and began to take his own measurements.

"I know it doesn't make practical or physical sense to remove a desk and make room for this enormous chair in this tiny room, " I told him as he quietly surveyed the room.

He sat down next to me on the bed, a little sigh escaping as he breathed out. I knew he was having a rough week at work.

"...but if we can make this work," I continued, "it would be the best thing emotionally for Henry and me right now." Unexpected tears sprung to my eyes and I choked on the last words a bit.

Mike looked at me, stood up, and started packing up the junk on top of the desk to make the move happen.

It was an event.

The boys were up past their bedtime helping move pillows and remove doors and get gerbil cages out of the way.

We did it! It made it. The Big Chair lives on for now. Perhaps in a few years Henry and I won't remember why we needed to keep that big chair.

I doubt it.

But perhaps.

Today is Mike and my 4th anniversary and Mike could not have given me a better present than to go through the effort of moving that big chair into the boys room last night. The move was impractical and a pain in the butt and a lot of work we didn't need last night but Mike understood what it meant to me to keep that big chair for now and he was willing to honor that no questions asked.

As I watched him strategize and execute getting that big chair into that tight space I don't think I have ever loved him more.

Thanks for checking in-


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's Live!!!!!!!

Hey there-

I can't believe it.

The book is actually available for sale!!

It only took three years.

Three years if we don't count the years of ruminating on the idea and, of course, the years it took to live it.

Ready or not here it is................ Two Chai Day

Thanks for checking in-


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Hey there-

Just when you thought you have heard everything, along comes a ten year old to prove you wrong.

Mike and I were on the committee to help plan Horizon Home Care and Hospice's annual Life Lights benefit for this year. The event raises funds for their Grief Resource Center which is a fabulous facility offering support groups, counseling and resources for the bereaved.

Friday night was a perfect cool clear fall evening at the beautiful Milwaukee Zoo where the event is held. Mike and I were in charge of one of the bars so the Aunts brought the boys to the event. It is truly a fabulous fundraiser with good food, good music, a sunset stroll through the zoo and plenty of opportunities to honor loved ones who have died.

One of the opportunities offered was to write a letter to your loved one and place it in a treasure chest kept safely at the center. Thinking Henry might like to write a note to Bob I went to find him among all the folks enjoying their fish fry.

"Do you want to write a letter to daddy?" I asked, once I had located them. "They have paper and pencils out there so you can write him a note."

"Do you mean my dead real one or my fake live one?" Henry asked in the sincere way he has. He needs to be certain about the expectations.

WOW! This is an interesting turn of events. Henry has always been so clear on who his dad is and who Mike is.

Initially, I was conflicted with his question, in defense of Bob I suppose. Plus, considering the event we were at I thought who the letter was for was rather obvious.

Not obvious to Henry.

Now, before all of you Mike supporters get all up in arms about the use of the word "fake" in Henry's description I would like to point out what a genuine monumental moment this was for Henry, Mike and myself. When Henry was asked to write a note for his daddy he was not sure if I meant Bob or Mike.......WOW!, again.

Fake, real, dead, alive, Henry's got it all.

Lucky boy. Lucky us.

Thanks for checking in-


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The playground

Hey there-

I took the dog for a walk this morning. We walked past the playground where Arthur and Henry go to school. As luck would have it Arthur's class was being called in from recess so I had the opportunity to glimpse him in his world.

I love that.

Arthur came around the corner from the "colorful playground" and began to saunter across the black top towards the teacher. He was walking with a friend and talking very animatedly about something very important. I could tell it was important by the deliberate swinging back and forth of his hands and the tilt of his head to the side.

He is never at a loss for words that boy. On our trip to Yellowstone we went horseback riding and Arthur's horse was just behind our guide. He never stopped talking the entire ride. The gal periodically turned towards the rest of the group to fill us in on the topic of conversation. At one point he told her he would "never forget this ride in his whole life".

Where does he get his drama and love of conversation? Hmmmmmmmm, possibly the McGoldrick side?

In contrast, Henry said about two words the entire ride. The guide actually asked me afterwards if he had enjoyed himself. That is just Henry I told her. The next day, after he had a chance to process the event and evaluate the ride against all the other activities we did that day, he let me know what he thought about the excursion.

Where does he get his thoughtful introspection? Hmmmmmm, possibly the Wellenstein side?

Even though people will swear the boys look like twins I don't see it. When I see Henry I see all Wellenstein, and when I see Arthur I see a McGoldrick.

This morning as I watched Arthur confidently stride across the playground I thought how comfortable he looked in his world at that moment. And as I watched him talking to his friend I imagined the teacher telling him to stop talking during class just the way I had been told so many times in class. I shook my head and laughed a bit and thought about the little McGoldrick I had before me.

Just then Arthur stuck both of his hands in his pocket, hunched his shoulders a bit, put his head down and began walking with determination towards the already forming line in front of the teacher.

Oh my, that move was exactly like Bob.

The hair on my arms raised.

Don't forget, Bob reminded me, I had a part in that boy too.

Don't worry, Bob, I will never forget.

Thanks for checking in-