Monday, 20 February 2012

My chair of memories

FROM WHERE I’m sitting sipping hot coffee ( mild, San Mig , 3 in 1, instant), I can see Jumong gleefully watching avenger cartoon heroes on my laptop screen.
As he watches, he is constantly moving the swivel chair sideways and backwards, as he sways to the avengers theme song.

Looking at this four-year old boy, I remember my father.
It’s his swivel chair, the one he used ... to sit on in his home office whenever he entertained clients needing legal assistance.
He would sit on this chair even when he was already suffering from Alzheimer’s, and he would sit still for hours, without uttering a word, staring blankly at the wall.
After he was gone, the chair passed on to me . 
I use it as my “official chair”, because when I’m seated on it, I put on a stern and authoritative appearance,  although in reality I am  most benign.
This swivel chair is also a comforter.
When I feel tense, I would sit on it and just swirl around and around. If I’m feeling mentally fatigued, I would just turn the chair 90 degrees, and I would be facing the idiot box and for a short time, enjoy the inanities of Eat Bulaga.
When they were small, my nephews would sit on the chair two at a time, with one standing to turn it around as the two seated make fun sounds and laugh to their hearts’ content.
Now, it’s Jumong’s turn, son of my nephew (that makes him my grandnephew?).
I’ve seen how the cartoon fares of two generations changed - from Voltes 5 to Ben 10 and his Omnitrix , just from watching my nephews and later, their children enjoy these cartoon characters while seated on my swivel chair.

Because it is made from narra, I am sure this hardy chair will outlive me.
But I hope when I am gone , my descendants would keep this chair,  use it and consider it as family.
After all, it has given us many moments of joy, saw us through our victories and defeats, through health and disease, through childhood innocence and adult wariness.
It is a mute witness to the inexorable passage of time, of the cycle of life.
Looking at Jumong enjoying himself immensely seated on this beloved chair, I see Jumong’s father also, and my father , and I am filled with inexplicable peace, as if all is well with my world, but I know it will be only for a moment.
But it doesn’t matter.
For now, I will relish this moment, and enjoy my coffee.

(Dr EMMA P Valencia, MD, is a Health Policy analyst, writer, poet and journalist, who shuttles between Manila and California. She once worked with Senator Eduardo J Angara to assist him on important health policy legislations.)

No comments:

Post a Comment