scattering mindless trivia

Rocking Chair


We lost my mother-in-law in December, and it has been very hard for my ex to accept her passing, along with cleaning out her home.   So, I along with her caregiver have been  helping him sort and pack up Mom’s items.  (This is ex #1….he and I get along very well)

In one of Mom’s spare bedrooms sat a dusty old manual typewriter next to a stack of books.  I was going through these books and came across some yellowed sheets of paper tucked inside.  There were three copies of the same poem typed on each sheet.  I started to read what she had found so important she had to type three times…………………….:

(Lyrics & Music: Bob Miller)
The Everly Brothers

Sitting alone in an old rocking chair
I saw an old mother with silvery hair
She seemed so neglected by those who should care
Rocking alone in an old rocking chair 

Her hands were all callused and wrinkled and old
A life of hard work was the story they told
And I thought of angels as I saw her there
Rocking alone in an old rocking chair

Bless her old heart, do you think she’d complain
Though life has been bitter she’d live it again
And carry that cross that is more than her share
Rocking alone in an old rocking chair

It wouldn’t take much just to gladden her heart
Just some small remembrance on somebody’s part
A letter would brighten her empty life there
Rocking alone in an old rocking chair

I know some youngsters in an orphans’ home
Who’d think they owned heaven if she was their own
They’d never be willing to let her sit there
Rocking alone in an old rocking chair

I look at her and I think “What a shame”
The ones who forgot her she loves just the same
And I think of angels as I see her there
Rocking alone in an old rocking chair

I was speechless, and just sat quietly numb for the longest time.  I had to digest the words I had just read.

I started to second guess my life with Mom…………

Had I taken the time to stop and visit as often as I could?
Did I call her enough?
Was I there for her in times when she really needed someone?
Did she know, even though sometimes I got busy with my life, I always loved her? 
I hope she did.
I hope she didn’t think of herself as the “Old mother with silvery hair, rocking alone in an old rocking chair.

I will never know…………

  1. 20 Responses to “Rocking Chair”

  2. By Futureblackmail on May 22, 2009 | Reply


    I think you are amazing to be able to help your ex do this and obviously cared so much about her to take that on.

    And what a powerful poem – “And carry that cross that is more than her share” – gave me the goose bumps.

  3. By Emily on May 22, 2009 | Reply

    Oh, Zelzee…. I had resolved to write my dear Gram (who is losing a battle with dementia) tomorrow, but now you make me want to write it tonight and walk it up to the post office.

  4. By eileen on May 22, 2009 | Reply

    Wow. Really makes us want to stop and think.

    Good luck with that whole cleaning out the house stuff. I just did my parents a few months ago. You cannot believe the things I found.
    It’s like my whole life was flashing before me. Notes I had passed in HS english, check ledgers, bills from stores closed 50 years ago.
    It was like being in the history museum.

    My favorite: I found all my things from college. Note books, books, letters. So I thought to myself, maybe I should save the notes. You just never know. (Like I would need them 32 years later!)
    I opened them and laughed. Every note, every single note I took in college was taken in SHORTHAND. I saved them for 32 years and can’t read a damn note!
    I pitched them out after a good laugh.

  5. By Tuesday on May 22, 2009 | Reply

    I think no matter when someone dies it is hard not to say “did I do enough”
    The key is to do enough every day.

  6. By Hyphen Mama on May 22, 2009 | Reply

    Two things:
    –I am headed, with my 2 screaming meme kids, 6 hours drive tomorrow to visit my grandparents for the long weekend. This post made me really glad that I am. When we went 2 years ago, we thought we wouldn’t have another opportunity. This year I insisted I spend money we don’t have…because it’s JUST MONEY, these are people who may be gone in 2 years.

    –When my MIL’s father died in 2002, she couldn’t bring herself to clean out the house. In 2004 (YES!! 2 years later) I took my 7 month-old daughter over and we spent 2 solid weeks cleaning out that house to get it sold. My MIL just needed emotional support and extra hands. I’m glad we helped, we saw and learned so much about her father and the 40’s and 50’s eras from cleaning out that house.

    How wonderful that you and your ex still have an amiable relationship.

    Beautiful post, Zelzee!

  7. By The Girl Next Door on May 22, 2009 | Reply

    Wow. just Wow. I think she knew you cared And from what I know you cared. More than enough And she knew. God bless YOU!

  8. By fiona on May 22, 2009 | Reply

    What an introspective thought… I’m not sure what to say except that what I know of you is that you thoughtful, kind, and faithful and I am certain she saw that too.

  9. By KathyB! on May 23, 2009 | Reply

    I hope that she took the time to type that because she was thankful that it was not the fate that she had been dealt. In retrospect we always look back and feel there was more we could have done. But if you’re honest you’ll remember there’s a lot you did as well.

  10. By Mrs4444 on May 23, 2009 | Reply

    Wow. That’s sad. I know that we could spend a lot more time with our moms…My mom has nine kids, so she’s not as lonely as Mark’s mom, who only has two sons. Off to give her a call!

  11. By Jenn @ Juggling Life on May 23, 2009 | Reply

    This will give many of us pause.

  12. By Stesha on May 23, 2009 | Reply

    Makes me think of my grandma…

    Hugs and Mocha,

  13. By Shawn on May 23, 2009 | Reply

    What a great poem to make you really think. I often wonder what it will be like when no one cares anymore.

    But then again, I am thinking that I will be a bit wacko, so people will want to come and see what strange things I am going to say and do! :)

    Kind of like an animal in the zoo.

  14. By Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life on May 23, 2009 | Reply

    This is a good lesson for all of us, and not just for relatives. We are so busy–too busy. I took birthday caramels from the Relief Society to several women in my neighborhood today and only one was home. We had a good chat, I saw her Mother’s Day present, six baby chickens. If I hadn’t had to take the caramels I wouldn’t know about her cute red table and mirror in her fowyer. Wouldn’t now have a “trade” partner, eggs for vegetables. It was such fun talking to her.

    I’m sure your Mother-in-law knew you loved her. You don’t do things half way and I think you love the same way, all the way.

  15. By blunt delivery on May 24, 2009 | Reply

    regrets… i have a few. but then again, too few to mention.

    wise words by my man sinatra

  16. By thoughts by dena on May 26, 2009 | Reply

    Thank you for coming by my blog…this post is very touching!!

  17. By passions & soapboxes on May 26, 2009 | Reply

    Don’t be sad. I’m sure you did enough, talked to her enough.I’m also sure she missed all the people she had lost and this is what made her sad and drawn to the song in the first place.It also might have reminded her of something from long ago. Besides it’s not a very good song and it was not a big hit for obvious reasons.

  18. By passions & soapboxes on May 26, 2009 | Reply

    I also wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog today, you made me laugh and I needed that.

  19. By Ree on May 27, 2009 | Reply

    That’s so sad; I would have sat there sobbing myself.

    I’m sure she knew how much you loved her.

  20. By Yaya on Jun 20, 2009 | Reply

    Wow. I’m sorry for the losses in your life. :(

  21. By Pradana on Mar 28, 2015 | Reply

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