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The Throne of A Mother’s Grace

Two years ago, I shared via email, a Reflection I titled “Throne of a Mother’s Grace.” Now, with nine grandchildren and Mother’s Day 2018 approaching, I thought I’d honor all of you moms out there by posting an updated version on my new blog. Hope it sparks a few memories of your own.


The Throne of a Mother’s Grace

We found it in the summer of 1972, just a couple of months before our wedding vows.

My fiancé and I drove an hour to nearby Winder Georgia to visit my grandmother and discuss our upcoming wedding. A hot July day found us enjoying lunch and conversation with my beloved seventy-five-year-old “Dado”. Walking outside her home, my twenty-year-old bride-to-be pointed at the wood structure behind the house and asked, “What is that?”

It was a chicken coop.

Its gray weathered wood frame, corroded hinges, and leaky roof gave witness to it having long been abandoned as a home for chickens. A quick peek inside revealed its new function as a repository for discarded dishes, rusty tools, and broken never-to-be-mended household items. Yet there in the dimly-lit cluttered, cobwebbed interior, we spotted what appeared to be a rocking chair. Dirty and dusty with a missing rocker, the upside-down chair seemed to my eye to be beyond redemption. Ah, but my betrothed saw a bright future for this abandoned rocking chair of a bygone era.

With my grandmother’s blessing, we secured the broken-down chair in the trunk of my 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle and headed home, our hearts brimming with hope that this long-forgotten family heirloom would soon find new life. With the missing rocker replaced, the wood cleaned, stained, and polished, this one-time resident of a chicken coop found an honored place in our home. Its simple design with a broad curved seat, high back, and 4-inch-wide flat arms made for remarkable comfort. With the birth of our firstborn son just ten months after our wedding, this American-inspired vintage piece of furniture began to serve its sacred role in our growing family.

Over the next two decades, each of our five children experienced the soothing rocking motion of this restored piece of Americana. It was here the newborns were nursed, fussy babies soothed, tearful two-year-olds sought kisses and cuddles for their boo-boos, and toddlers relished alone-time with their momma. With the steady rocking rhythm accompanied by the quiet humming of a lullaby, our children found the cradle of their mother’s lap to be a place of grace, nurture, and consolation.

Today the old rocker sits in an upstairs bedroom at “Poppy’s” house waiting for those special moments when grandchildren will experience, like generations before, a time of healing and loving on this throne of a mother’s grace.

All this to explain why whenever I see a rocking chair, my eyes linger, a faraway look crosses my face and I get a sudden urge to explore chicken coops.

Happy Mother’s Day!


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  1. Madeleine

    Buddy, what wonderful memories for you and your family! I understand how special rocking chairs can be. I used to rock my sister in one when she was one years old. My parents were pleased that I’d sing “Galway Bay” to her . . . an old Irish Song. “If you ever go across the sea to Ireland, then maybe at the closing of your day, you can sit and watch the moon rise over Claddagh, and see the sun go down on Galway Bay.”

    When I visited Ireland a couple of years ago, I sang that song once again, but this time I was on the shores of Galway Bay. It brought back a flood of memories.


    1. Buddy McElhannon

      Madeleine, Thanks for that comment. It just so happens that my wife and I will be spending some time in ireland this summer…and Galway is on the itinerary.


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