The obituary had already been written.
Pamville Recliner, age at least 20, died of natural causes Sunday, Feb. 3. He had remained firm-seated and hardy until the very end.
Recliner's manufacture date is unknown, but his first years after the showroom floor were spent with a nice retired lady. When she decided that he wasn't a good fit for her after all, he came to Pamville in the North 40 and became the beloved companion of Pam Burke.
Their bond was immeasurable.
Other people sat in him, but it always came back to him and Pam.
Recliner is preceded in death by one ragged, over-stuffed, college-days couch and two other, less worthy, chairs, as well as Tuesday the cat and Sadie the dog who always appreciated his cushy warmth.
He is survived by his alternate human, John; Cooper the dog; a sturdy-framed couch; one chair of dubious health; and of course, his beloved Pam.
Condolences may be sent to email@example.com. Any donations may be sent in Recliner's memory to the charity of one's choice.
Disheartened, I began looking for another recliner the very next day. I knew it would take a long and arduous search for a chair as perfect at Recliner.
I thought it was fate when I overheard a man talking about a recliner he had for sale: Only four years old, it was being sold because it was too big for the owner, who was slightly shorter than me. Promising. We arranged to meet after work. I was giddy at the prospect that maybe my dearly departed Recliner was somehow guiding this meeting. Like fate.
But it wasn't meant to be. The recliner had had a tough four years, and it fit like a bad back to be.
So much for fate.
I looked at other recliners before heading home. None was right.
It was depressing, but no more so than the sight greeting me back home: Recliner, listing slightly askew, waiting to be hauled away. Oh, my Recliner!
In desperation, I pulled him from his corner, flipped him onto his side and performed exploratory surgery right there in the living room, even before eating lunch — which was already late.
And what a discovery inside Recliner: two pens, a pencil, two ponytail bands, uncounted candy wrappers, a tissue, enough crumbs to be make a meal, enough hair to make a whole new pet, and this: a parts failure that could be repaired.
We could be rebuild Recliner! Stronger than he was before.
And thus, Recliner was resurrected.
Beautiful, glorious, buddy old pal Recliner lived to hold me again.
We ate lunch together, then I set aside my plate, sat back, kicked Recliner's footrest up and cozied back into our familiar reclined position with a blanket, and we napped with the TV murmuring a soft lullaby in the background.
Recliner and I, back together again.
It was fate after all.
(Life is good at http://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)