Anthony Geha 10/27/08 Eng-101b-09 Mr. Mitchell My Family’s Sugawn Chair When I look around at people, and the way they act and respond to situations in life, I can’t help but wonder what it is that makes them act one way or another. Like complete asses in situations that don’t call for it, or other times when I feel like I can’t deal with something, there are those people who seem to have the patience of saints. I wonder if it is really the life they have lead and have been brought up to lead that crates their personalities for today.
Does the fact that they have the warmest most loving supporting family make it easier for them to succeed in life? If there dad left when they were young, does it make it harder to trust people for them? Through the life I’ve lead myself; I’d have to believe that this is true. Now I can’t say that this is fact of course, but I will say that I’m sure if it was really thought upon, anyone could relate some aspect in their lives to how they were brought up.
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Then unfortunately as times passes as it surely will, you begin to lose people you love, people move, people pass away, family members divorce and move in different directions in life and nothing feels the same as it once did anymore. Even though this happens, you are still the person you are, on account of family and the values passed down to you. Though the times have changed, nothing in you has changed and you know the importance of the times past, then unspeakably and without warning, something triggers all those times in your mind and you can’t help but feel good.
In the story “The Sugawn Chair” the boy ultimately loses his parents and is forced to sell things in the house, and move on and forge forward with his life. He then comes upon the chair that has been in the attic for years now and when he sees it he remembers and I think he can really feel the presence of his parents and he will probably keep the chair and tell stories about it to his kids and so on for a long, long time. While reading this story it is easy to see that this chair is a symbol of their family and their togetherness and their love for each other.
Almost everyone I know has a symbol of lost loved ones or family symbols that have been passed down from earlier generations, and my family is certainly no exception to this. However, in my family the item and symbol itself is a little bigger than most. As a kid and still to this day my dad’s side of the family would have Sunday night dinner at my Grandparents house in Glenmoore, it was a time for the family to get together each week, tell stories of their week and how everything was going, and of course to be together for a while.
Each week there would be undoubtedly good food, loud conversations, and the occasional fights and butting heads of friends and family. Then after a while of having a babysitter as a child my grandmother told my mom that instead of bringing me and my brother to the babysitter on Thursdays (when my mom and dad both worked) why not just bring them to her house, and she would make dinner for us, almost like it was Sunday. My mom eventually agreed and I and my brother would be left at grandma’s house on Thursday afternoons along with my two cousins who were always over there because their parents both worked all the time.
So as it began to continue this way for a long time, Thursdays became another day that everyone would go over to my grandparent’s house and eat dinner and talk and so forth. Well, in 1998 my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and he unfortunately passed away later that year. He was a good man and though I was only 12 when he died I think we had a pretty good loving relationship. This was a sad time for everyone obviously, but we kept up with the dinners and I think it ultimately brought everyone closer together and made us value each other more. So time passed on and the Thursday night and Sunday night dinners continued.
My Grandma had always wanted a bigger kitchen and after my grandfather died she thought it was time for a change in the house, so she had the whole house remodeled and now the kitchen is humongous! Along with the rest of the house as well, people would stop on the streets after it was done and just look in. The kitchen can easily be seen through the 6 big windows in the front of the house. My grandmother if you couldn’t already tell, loved to cook she was awesome at it and it brought her so much joy, that her cooking could bring so many people together.
Then again in 2001 more tragedy struck our family. My dad’s brother, my uncle, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and he fought very hard for a long time but unfortunately in 2002 he passed away from it and this was a very hard time for everyone. Not only because of the person he was, but it was my grandmother’s child, and no parent should have to live to see the day one of their children passes. He also was working to become a reverend at his church and was extremely active with youth groups to help children find more religion in their lives.
There was probably no one less deserving of his young death than him. But as time moved on, we coped and continued the dinners and continued to stay positive and loving. Over time we as the grandchildren, there is 5 of us, played baseball in the front yard and backyard, played basketball in the street in front of the house, played video games and so many other games like hide and seek and capture the flag (which was hard to play inside the house) we watched numerous world series games and super bowls there at my grandma’s house. It was a comfortable place for everybody.
A warm “door’s always open” type of place. My grandma would feed anyone who walked in. She also owned a restaurant called “Minerva’s” on Fremont Blvd. where some of her recipes are still being used today, but that’s a whole other story that could go on for days. Years passed and in 2004 my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. Now this woman was so stubborn and hard headed that she was certain she wasn’t going to let this affect her. So she fought, and there were years in between where she seemed totally fine and like everything was ok.
She was the greatest grandmother you would ever have liked to know, and I guarantee you’d feel the same had you had the chance to meet her. Unfortunately though, as cancer does, it took her from us in mid 2007. At that time we were just adding on some more room to the house because my aunt and her family were going to move in, to be able to take care of her and also because their money was a little tight. She did get to see the house right when it was finished before she passed and she loved it.
Now not too add so much crap to this already large pile of it, but we had just found out at around the same time as my grandma passed away, that my uncle, my aunts husband and my cousins dad, who had just moved into the house to live with my grandma, had cancer as well. He didn’t last very long unfortunately and he passed away late in 2007. So this combination of seemingly endless destruction of our family was a big hit. For a while I was unable to go over to the house at all. There was just constant weeping and remorse.
There were too many fights to even remember and everyone seemed like the only thing holding them together was my grandmother, and now she was gone. There was hope though, as time passed as it seems to do, we all were forced to keep it together, fall out was impossible because this house was important to all of us and we all wanted ultimately to be there. To this day anytime I enter that house I am overcome with memories of so many years and so many events. Everyone still comes for Thursday and Sunday night dinner and we laugh and love.
We still cook and clean, and talk to each other. The house is my symbol of my family, the memories that I have were created in that house and though so many people were lost, it is important to make their memories last forever. We talk about my grandpa and uncles and grandma all the time and there is always a smile of nostalgia on someone’s face. I’m not as young as I once was, so there isn’t as many games played or high school type stories told, but it always feels the same to me, to walk into that house.