His sister wanted their late mother's chair, but how could he afford to ship it to Arizona?
The U-Haul office in Grove, Oklahoma, was nearly empty that Wednesday the week before Thanksgiving. Just one other person ahead of me.
“I’ll be with you in just a few minutes,” the counter clerk said. I nodded and sat on a bench next to the desk, anxious to be on my way.
Last time I was here, seven years ago, it was to move Mom into her new duplex. Now Mom had passed away, and since I lived closer than my two sisters, I was responsible for emptying Mom’s place and driving our beloved family treasures to my place in Missouri. Part of me wished I wasn’t.
With both of our parents now gone, my sisters and I had discussed how to divide their things, and for the most part it had all gone smoothly.
My sister Shari, out in Arizona, immediately latched onto the cozy, dark blue, wingback chair that had been a fixture in our family’s living room for years.
How many Christmases had Dad sat there, watching us open presents? That was where Mom often thumbed through her Bible, praying for us kids.
Shari had our blessing to take it... but the costs to ship it to her were astronomical. I barely had time to make this U-Haul trip, never mind another in the opposite direction. The chair would have to come with me to Missouri, at least for the foreseeable future.
Shari was heartbroken. She resigned herself to taking some smaller, more easily transported mementos.
While the clerk finished up with the other customer, I thought about my sister’s dilemma. I felt guilty. I didn’t even have a good place to put that old chair.
“And finally, where are you taking the trailer?” I overheard the clerk ask the man.
“Phoenix,” he replied, “well, actually, closer to Mesa.”
Arizona! Before I had time to think about what I was doing, I got up and said, “Excuse me, but would you mind taking a chair with you?”
The man looked understandably perplexed, so I quickly explained the situation.
“My name’s Dan,” he said, shaking my hand, “and I would be happy to help.”
Dan came by Mom’s duplex the next day. “I can’t thank you enough,” I said. “This must be a big inconvenience. Let me give you gas money, at least.”
“No need,” Dan said. "My own sister lives in Gilbert, the same city where your sister lives. I was already planning to stop by. It’s not out of the way at all.”
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