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It’s finally over after a five year separation. My son is waiting now for papers to sign to release him and his wife from their marriage bonds. Is this a good thing? A bad? Is it a relief? A mistake? Meant to be? How does he know? In the back of my mind I hear a voice say, “Trust me.” But whose voice is it? God’s? My own? A well meaning friend(s)? I can’t imagine how my son is keeping it all together when everything feels so uncertain to me.

Life feels “wobbly” to me right now, like this chair I’m sitting on. Each time I use it I have to push the rungs back together as best I can before I sit. Then I carefully lower myself to the seat, praying all the while I won’t find myself on the floor on my rear. “Wobbly.” Every day I push it back together and get on with journaling my way through life, trying not to think of what might happen if I wiggle around too much. Some days the chair feels a bit more wobbly than others despite the fact that we’ve tried every which way to make it sturdier — screws, nails, joint filler… I can see the ill fit of the joints is becoming more pronounced as the years go by and there’s not much I can do about it — unless I’m willing to throw the chair away, which I’m not. We have a long history, this chair and I.

When my family moved to Utah in 1962, the chair belonged to friends of ours who moved along with us from Ohio. It went with the mom’s little Magnus cord organ. When I, then nearly 13, would babysit her kids, I would sit and play that organ for hours. For the first time I could actually put a whole song together following along in her music books. I loved music more than anything else in the world. It was in my DNA.

Finally that mom decided to upgrade. She bought a brand-new, BIG Whurlizter organ with multiple keyboards. And much to my delight, she passed the little cord organ and chair on to us. I couldn’t wait to get home from school every day and get my hands on it. Of course I had to share it with my dad who could play ANYTHING by ear, and who, eventually, also upgraded to a larger one. And when he did, the little organ and chair became mine! I brought it home to the family I’d started, and sure enough, my son discovered music sitting at that little organ, too. It inspired him to learn to play the trumpet and the french horn.

But then one day a friend of ours said something about how her husband, who was dying of bone cancer, had loved to sing and play the piano when he was growing up, but they never could afford to buy one. I’m not sure I would have thought to part with the organ otherwise, but it seemed to me that if music truly DID have “charms to sooth the savage breast (or in this case savage cancer?)”, then Bob needed it more than I did. And I would like to think it helped to add many happy hours to his life. To this day it is a loved member of that family, several years after Bob’s death.

The thing about the chair is, I couldn’t bring myself to let go of it with the organ. Very odd. And yet that’s what happened. It sat in our house in the corner of the bedroom forlorn and alone for several years until one day I realized there are more ways to create “music” than just with a musical instrument. I did it constantly with my cross stitch projects — I played the “music” of the pattern across the cloth to create a beautiful “song” for someone I loved. I also enjoyed creating “music” with words.

DeskSo for my birthday one year I asked for a desk. I picked out a beautiful little drop-front French Secretary. And the chair, well, it matched perfectly (except for the lime-green vinyl seat that I’ve been meaning to change, though lime green is certainly back in style … you know what they say about style, right — if you wait long enough…). At last it had a partner again, and here I sit today still trusting myself to its somewhat fragile construction nearly 48 years from the day I first sat down on it.

I have a history with life like that, too. “Wobbly” or not, I’ve stepped out in faith every day and trusted myself to what God might have in store for me. There have been great times, bad times, boring times, and times of uncertainty like when we were waiting to see if someone in India would want to adopt the little girl who already felt like our daughter though we had yet to meet her. And times like now when I must wait patiently for my son to receive those papers, trying hard not to “squirm around on the seat” too much worrying about the emotional devastation that often goes along with divorce.

Well, all I can say is I’m praying once again today that I won’t find my fanny on the floor at the end of it all. But I guess that’s what trusting is all about, isn’t it…putting it all in God’s hands and knowing that, “wobbly” or not, both he and my little chair will keep my butt off that floor.