Whitley and I both got new recliners from a special back store. I hurt my back in a fall, and Whitley has such a bad back that he’s had periods in his life when he’s slept on the floor, and been unable even to raise his feet while walking. When we went to bed, I’d lean over and say ‘goodnight’ and he would wave to me from the floor. We went on that way for many years.
Then we found a good chiropractor, which greatly improved things for him. The new chairs we good are a great improvement, but they have one little thing that drives me nuts. In order to get the chair to move into position, either to get up or lean back, you have to push buttons. This means that you have to wait for the chair to get into place before you can, say, pick up a book.
I have discovered something from this. Sometimes furniture—the furniture of your life—expresses what you need at the moment. For instance, when I was going through a very frustrating period in my life, I really enjoyed shredding paper. This new chair is teaching me another kind of lesson. It’s teaching me to wait.
I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to wait. Instead, I blunder about trying to do things before they need to be done. But the chair has changed all that, because I have to wait for it to get into position—even the position that enables me to get out of the chair. So there’s this pause in my life before I can do anything, and I find myself thinking about what it really was that I wanted to get up and do.
And sometimes I realize that these things don’t need to be done or can be done in another way.
For someone with a brain tumor like I have, treatments are all about waiting--postponing the inevitable, waiting to get a little more life. So the chair, as annoying as it is, turns out to offer me a useful lesson that’s summed up beautifully in the old English proverb: “all good things come to he who waits.”