The Papasan Chair

Side note: I definitely thought it was “Poppyson Chair” and I like my way a lot better. Just sayin….

I moved in August 2019. Moving was a pretty big deal because we had been at our old house for 13 years. Jess Sr. and I purchased the home together right before Jack was born and we made it into our family home. The “Rolston house” was the only home my boys had ever known. It was the home we had shared as a family with their father who died in February 2019. Some – MOST – say one shouldn’t make any “huge” life decisions or changes within a year of losing their spouse. I pretty much knocked all those out of the park within a year, so….What can I say? I’ve always been a rule breaker.

I never thought I would get out of that POS house. I spent a good portion of those 13 years trying to figure out how we would ever get away from it. When an opportunity arose soon after Jess’s death to get out of that house, I jumped on it. Why not? Everything in our lives had just been flipped upside-down and messed up already. We might as well get this out of the way too. I hated that house.

When we moved, it was an all woman movement. Not on purpose, it just kind of happened that way. I hired movers, they were guys, but aside from them, it was me, my mom, and my friend/sitter with her two teenage girls. This new house is AmAzInG! It is so beautiful, big, and something I never imagined I could afford or ever felt I deserved. I knew I could afford it and I had learned that I did deserve it.

I felt empowered doing this by myself.

I felt like a Boss Bitch.

I felt like I could do anything on my own.

Enter the papasan chair. My parents had this really old papasan chair that had been at their house for quite some time, but before that was at my grandparents’ house. This papasan chair had been in my life as long as I could remember. My parents decided to get rid of it, so I asked if I could have it. Of course, they said yes. I LoVe papasan chairs!

This chair came with a very old, refurbished pillow that had honestly seen better days. I went to Amazon because, what doesn’t Amazon have, right? I sorted through so many options and I found the perfect cushion. It screamed a perfect vibe to me and I had to have it! It also looked super comfortable and fluffy.

This cushion was $80.00. EIGHTY MOTHER FLIPPING DOLLARS! What?! I had never bought anything more expensive than a $30.00 bookshelf for my home. I was/am the queen of hand-me-down furniture. My eclectic style fits this quite perfectly. So, eighty dollars for a huge pillow was a hard pill for me to swallow.

Add to Cart.

Check Out.

I just purchased an eighty dollar pillow.

Why not? “Treat Yo’ Self”, am I right?!

The cushion arrived. It was beautiful. It was glorious. It was everything I never knew I always needed in the middle of my living room. I was So Happy!

Fast forward about a week or two. I notice a tear in the cushion. The EIGHTY DOLLAR CUSHION that I JUST BOUGHT! Ugh! OF course. Well, I may not be able to use my sewing machine because I never learned how to and I am intimidated by it, but I am a pro at stitching things by hand. I whipped out my sewing kit and patched the hole.

Fast forward a few weeks later. I notice another tear/tiny hole, but ignore it. One more week passes by. The hole is now basically a crater and my dog is having the time of his life with the pillow’s stuffing. UgH! I stitch it up again.

Needless to say, this keeps happening. Although the fabric was brilliantly beautiful, it tore whenever anyone moved on it. My dog is big and has long nails and I have a cat with her front claws, so I am sure neither of those things helped save the cushion.

Eventually, I had to use a patch. The way papasan cushions are put together, there are a lot of seams and tight spots. There was simply no more fabric to pull together to sew. I grabbed some like-colored fabric, cut a square, and busting out the old sewing kit again. It ended up looking pretty cool. Not perfect by any means, but decent, with added character.

Earlier this year, me and the boys were given an activity to do at the ‘house for grieving children’ we go to because their dad died. It was called a patchwork house. We were given a large cardboard square and several different patterned patches of materials. We were told to build a patchwork house showing all of the things, people, etc. that have helped us rebuild our lives since we lost our person.

Our patchwork house was quite the struggle because my two littles did not comprehend what we were told to do, but we got it done. I begrudgingly participated because I hate doing that kind of thing. The activities that make you deal with the loss and think of the pain and struggles make me cringe. I’d rather deal with it alone, in my room, crying until I process it all, thanks. I did not understand the significance of it at the time. I figured the program directors just wanted to mix it up at the place. I didn’t even like our end result, but I brought it home. I was going to throw it away because it had ended up on the floor in the living room, but Charlie saw me and stopped me. He wanted to keep it. I told him he could and he placed it in a corner in his room.

Last weekend, a tiny hole had gotten way out of control and there were several other areas on the cushion that needed patched. I worked tirelessly on them until they were all finished. It took a total of 2 and a half Avengers movies (we had an Avengers marathon), which is like, 7-8 hours. My boys asked me why I kept repairing it instead of pitching it and getting a new one. I am famous in our house for trashing anything with a hole or broken piece or something we cannot find all the pieces to. At the time, I didn’t have an answer, but the question sure made me think.

As I thought of my reason why, I realized this $80.00 papasan cushion was my own personal patchwork house. I never have forgotten the wonderful feelings I had when I moved into my new house and purchased the new cushion. The feeling of: “I have this on my own. I can totally do this.

As with life, nothing is perfect. Things go wrong. Holes appear. Things happen that need fixed. I have been working on rebuilding our lives for over a year now and this cushion is a physical representation of that. Any time something has gone wrong or needed fixed, I figured out a way to fix it. Sometimes I needed help from others, just as I did when I needed to figure out how to add more fabric and reached out for suggestions. No matter what, I have figured out what was needed to make our lives work and feel complete.

Many people will look at my cushion and think it is a ratty, old, oversized pillow that isn’t very pleasing to the eyes.

Many people look at my life that way too. A series of events that have resulted in less than ideal results.

I view them differently. My cushion is now a representation of all of the hard work and time I have put into it to make it whole again. The patches are proof that it hasn’t been easy, but we have figured out a way to make it work.

Our life may look like a shit show from the outside looking in and trust me, some days it still feels like utter chaos and disarray. We are still here. We have had plenty of holes placed in the way, challenges we have had to overcome. Some started tiny and got bigger and bigger and have required a great deal of work. No one, not even the people closest to you can fully realize how much you have been through and comprehend it. No matter what you have gone through. My boys and I have worked hard and put in the time to fix them together.

If someone wants to look at you and think you are a mess – LET THEM.

Only you know what you have been through. Only you know how hard you have really worked to get where you are.

If you are Healthy & Happy, Screw Everyone Who May Judge You and Think Otherwise!

I still think I am ridiculous for spending $80.00 on a huge pillow, but I am so grateful I did.


~Love & Light, Sarah

Published by SarahV

Life blog about me aiming to help anyone I can. I am 34, a mother of 3 boys, a widow, a lover, a peace seeker, a Soulrocker, an Auburn fan (War Eagle), a Yankees & Packers fan, a free spirit, an adventurer & so many other things. Some say I also have hippie tendencies. I hope I can spread love & light & help anyone who may find themselves in a situation I have been in before or am in now. I am always trying to better myself & follow my HeArT.

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