Thursday, February 12, 2015

Banged Up a Little

"You know, you don't throw a whole life away 
just 'cause he's banged up a little." 

I thought of this line from the 2003 film Seabiscuit (about a racehorse who comes back to glory after breaking his leg) after happify showed me a lovely old footstool at the Thrift Store, wondering if its broken foot could be repaired.

Yesterday after the conference on Aging, I stopped at the store specifically to  remove the footstool's filthy  cover. 

I took it home and hand washed it, and--wow!-- you can see for yourself how bright it is. > >
It looks really modern, but it's not.

(I don't know what you call this kind of needlework. [Rug hooking! Thank you, Krista.)

I'm going to try to fix the stool's broken foot too.

Each of the two runners(?) it rests on are made of one solid piece of wood, and one of the feet has broken off. So, it can't be restored completely, but it seems to me, who knows nothing about woodworking, that I could glue on a round piece of wood to make the footstool functional again, at least.

Another coworker at the store scoffed at my efforts at first, saying it wasn't worth it. Even repaired, the stool wouldn't be worth much.

But I launched into a speech about how it breaks my heart to see lovely old pieces thrown away, things people worked hard to make, and make well, things that last for decades and decades, while we settle for total crap from Ikea that barely last a few years.

He nodded at what I said, picked up the stool and looked more closely at it... (He knows about woodwork--will he come up with some ideas?)

The intensity of my feelings comes partly from having attended the talk "A Chaplain's View of Dementia" at the conference yesterday afternoon. 

The chaplain talked about how each of us has an "essence" that even dementia can't destroy. She said she jots down words to describe each resident she works with, and later, when she asks family members to tell her what their person used to be like, they use the same words.

I've experienced that too. A person may seem gone, but to me, a stranger who spends time with them with no prior expectations, they still emanate some... personality? essence? soul? 
Something identifiably theirs, even in their banged up state.  


Krista Kennedy said...

Looks like a hooked rug, no? Of course, I know nothing about this topic except what I read on blogs:

Thanks for the cards! I owe you a big update!

bink said...

Totally looks worth fixing (based the top.) You need a new foot stool---or is that me?

gz said...

picture of said stool?

Zhoen said...

Always worth having a good footstool, even if it needs a prosthesis. But then, I like three-legged dogs and slightly wonky gardens.

We are uniquely ourselves, beneath what we learn, however we dress it up, whatever damage we endure. The best is to be ourselves clearly with all our hearts.

Fresca said...

KRISTA: Thanks! Yes, you must be right, it's hooked.

BINK: It really is a neat piece. I have a footstool, but...

GZ: YOur wish is my command--I made sure to take my camera to the Thrift Store today to record the stool (and repair).

ZHOEN: Hooray for slightly wonky things!
Maybe wonky will be our word someone used to describe us when we're old. :)