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The end chair

For years, my husband Charles had a habit that was grating to my little miss organized personality. On his way out the door, he would almost always put his shoes on in the kitchen. That was fine. Of course, in so doing, he would need to pull a kitchen chair away from the table. It was always the same chair, the one on the end. He’d cock the chair a little sideways, so he could sit, and proceed to complete the final leg --HAHA-- of his ensemble. I’d often walk with him to the door behind to kiss him good-bye. But once the door shut, I knew without looking, that, when I turned around, I would see that chair right where he left it, out of line with all the others, slightly crooked to the table.

I never said anything and I don’t know how long - years? - that cockeyed chair bothered me to the point that I would always make a beeline to straighten it. One day - and again I have no sense of time - I stopped and took the scene in. Too mundane for an epiphany I suppose, but suddenly I just knew that there could come a day when I would wish that I could walk by and see that doggone chair pulled out like that. After that, straightening that chair became less important than the opportunity to wave a grin in its direction.

After Charles died, for a long time, I did certain things that would make me smile a little – spray his cologne, wear his shirt, listen to the Allman Brothers. And sometimes I’d walk by our table and just, ever so slightly, nudge the end chair out of line.

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