The Tales It Could Tell
A single dresser looking much like the one above, it's finish was now a bit worn on the edges, it's once shiny drawer pulls tarnished with age; a simple piece of furniture, bought for my son when he was about eight years old. We lived in military housing on an Army post in Texas back then. He had his own room and finally a place for his underwear, sox and pajamas, and the many small toys and objects that boys are known to collect. I was married to his father, it was far from a happy time in my life.
From there we moved off-base to a rental house, and then back into housing a couple years later; the dresser coming with us. It was moved again when my husband transferred from active army to the National Guard and we were stationed in a small town in New Mexico where the children would do most of their growing up, with my daughter graduating from nursing school there. We lived in two more rental houses before the marriage finally dissolved, then the kids and I moved out on our own, the dresser moving with us, not once but twice.
My son reached junior high age and it was decided that should go to live with his Dad in another town in New Mexico. I agreed because I believed it was the right thing to do - a boy needs his father, but it broke my heart to let him go. This time when he moved the dresser stayed with me. My daughter had also moved out on her own and before long I moved to another house where I was soon to meet the man who would become my third husband.
Together he and I moved to a rented townhouse at first, and then to a beautiful manufactured home of our own on the land where he grew up north of town. In the years ahead, the man I thought I married turned into someone/something entirely different. Although the house was lovely, and the little dresser stood proudly in the guest room, the marriage became a nightmare that I was lucky to escape with my life and some semblance of sanity ten years later.
When I finally found the courage to say "enough", I left the marriage and our home on the farm and moved to an apartment in town, the little dresser being one of the few pieces of furniture I took with me. Once again it served me well in the small space.
It was there that John found me, a little more than a year later. A whirlwind romance ensued, and just five month after that my belongings were packed and loaded in a truck once again. This time the dresser and I were headed 100 miles down the highway to west Texas and to a new life with the man of my dreams. For months afterward I expected to wake up and find that it had all been a dream, but nearly four years have passed and we remain deeply in love and committed to each other; I dare to believe in happily ever after.
Up until just last week, the little dresser, now nearly twenty five years old, was once again doing duty in the guest room. My son is now grown and has a beautiful home of his own. He lives in a distant state as does my daughter, and visitors to our home are rare. We decided it was time to re-purpose the guest room, our house is small and we can better utilize this space as an office/exercise/craft area. Deciding to give the queen-size bed and dresser to a family my husband knows who cannot afford good furniture, we loaded the truck and delivered them, happy that they could be put to good use by a child who finally has a place to store his or her things.
Although I was ready to see it go, as I polished the little dresser and mirror for the last time I couldn't help but reflect on all the miles this humble piece of furniture has travelled with me, the stories it could tell from the places it's been, and the little boy hands that once opened and closed its drawers. It doesn't really seem all that long ago.