A Friendship of the Heart

For some of you that have been reading my blog for awhile now, you may know how very special my friend Ruthie is to me. Last year was an extremely difficult year for her. She had a falling out with her daughter, and never returned to the home they shared in Old Towne Orange leaving all of her things behind. Eventually, her daughter Susan, shipped a few boxes to her. It was a home that Ruthie loved, a garden she tended to, and one of the things left behind, something that meant a great deal to her, was her old wooden rocking chair. Ruthie has a condo in Florida and has been there now for over a year, never returning to her home in Old Towne Orange, to Country Roads, or to all the things she once loved. Her daughter Susan sold the house (which was Susan's) and moved to Ohio. Since then Ruthie and Susan have worked on their relationship and Ruthie flew to Ohio to help Susan decorate her new home. Ruthie has this saying about "looking through the front windshield, never the rear view mirror". Thus her and Susan have never discussed many things that really need to be discussed. Recently, Ruthie got a good look in her rear view mirror when looking at pictures of Susan's home again one day. She saw that rocking chair she loved so very much. Below is a story Ruthie wrote to me about her beloved rocking chair that Susan now has in her home. A chair that Ruthie misses and just recently realized it!
This is the story of my chair.
"The year was 1995.
The place was the annual July handmade craft show at Piecemakers-Costa Mesa, Ca.
While strolling by the many booths of wonderful things, I spied this marvelous vintage chair that had been lovingly recovered with an old, soft pastel floral chenille bedspread. It was love at first sight. It was, indeed, a must have for my bedroom. In order to make room for my new love, I discovered I would have to part with something else, which I decided would have to be an old desk.
I believe that for most things you can find an answer if you look for it. After pondering this for a time, I came up with the idea that maybe, just maybe, a local antique store where I had shopped many times could be the answer. I had never had a space in an antique store but the idea appealed to me. I gathered up my nerve and off I went to Country Roads Antiques and Gardens in Old Towne Orange to inquire about my idea of selling my old desk. All I would need would be just a tiny space. Of course, Country Roads is not just any antique store--it is simply the best and in my mind the only place worthy of my desk. Please remember, I loved my new chair but I needed to give my old desk the respect it deserved so I was willing to risk rejection at Country Roads.
I was cordially greeted by the owner, Sue Jackson, and began pleading my case about my new chair and I needed a small space to sell my desk. I realize now that I must have sounded like some wacko, but she was so kind and inquired what else I had to sell. OOPS, I had not thought of that! I assured her I had a few other small things that I could add-although, truth be known, I had no idea what that would be.
She showed me a very tiny spot at the top of the stairs that I could rent. I was thrilled beyond words--never mind the roof was slanted and you almost had to bend over to get in. What a happy day -yup, there I was--a proud "dealer" at Country Roads. I was ecstatic as I made the short trip home to get my desk! I had about 30 square feet of the more than 15,000 square feet at Country Roads. But to me, it was gigantic. Little did I know that on that day I was embarking on a 12 year love affair with CR-an experience that I have concluded was and is a hallmark of my life--all because I fell in love with
a chair!
If, by chance, you were looking for me you only needed to look 3 places--my garden, CR or my chair. Yup, I sat in my chair reading by the hour, writing, making hundreds of tickets for pricing merchandise, catalog shopping for new product, planning the stores budget and sometimes just reflecting . The beautiful chenille bedspread finally wore out, the seat was sagging, and I reluctantly had it replaced with a slipcover which she was proud to wear. You take care of things you love.
For me, I have found it best as I travel the road of life, to look out of the windshield. Sometimes things occur that cause you to take a glimpse in the rear view mirror wither you want to or not. That happened to me yesterday.
My chair is now living with Susan in her new home and she looks beautiful there--just like she belongs. Why she is living there is another story. But the fleeting glance I had in the rear view mirror,as I looked at a recent photo of her, caused me to pause and reminded me of all the times we shared. I wonder what she would say-- if chairs could talk?
Just like an old friend that is gone--for one reason or another, I miss her and all that she represents to me. Do I have other chairs? Of course I do and for this I am grateful because I am aware that some people have none. None the less, she is special to me because of all the positive gifts that she has given to me in ways that changed my life".

In an email yesterday, Ruthie asked me, "how could we describe our friendship to anyone, how would they understand how important we are to each other". I told her that we have a "friendship of the heart", meaning there are certain people, friends, that have a piece of your heart and you have a piece of theirs. The cool part is you just "know" it, can't explain it, but you know how important these friendships are. Doesn't matter if there is an age gap, like mine and Ruthie's, as the heart doesn't care! For me, it's kind of funny that two of these people that I have a friendship of the heart with live far away; Ruthie in Florida and my friend Malisa in Texas! People are brought into our lives for a reason. And when you have a friendship of the heart, there is no better friend to have! And who knows, maybe Susan will happen to read this blog post and see the importance of peeking into the rear view mirror of life occasionally.


Jennifer said...

Thank you for making my day....Jennifer

Maureen said...

The best friendships are those that you instinctively know in your heart. No words necessary.

Tanza said...

Very Sweet post Sue, I LoVed Ruthie, and she ended up with the coolest space .. It GREW !! I miss her space, for she always had the most lovely things .. I learned something very important abot life ..thanks soo much for sharing .. and yep, I will look through the windshield, and try NOT to look to much in the rear view mirror !! PeRfeCt .. Have a happy week-end .. It's going to be a beatiful one ~
hugs ~tanza~

Debra@CommonGround said...

Ruthie, sounds like a wonderful friend, and a dear woman. Thank you, Sue, for sharing her with us. I hope her chair finds it's way back to her, and that her daughter does also.