I Love My Father's Chess Board

by Analeese Burnabaker

My father was one of my favorite people in all of the world. I have so many great memories of times with him and I loved having him as a father. He was never too busy with work to play with me and my siblings, and he always took time off for a family vacation each summer. He would come home after work each night and spend at least an hour playing with all of us outside. If we were building a fort, he would join us. If we wanted to practice basketball or baseball, he would change his clothes and quickly become our coach. As we got older my dad made himself available for talks about life and for teaching me about being an adult. One of my most distinct memories of my father, however, is how much he loved his chess board.

Apparently, my dad grew up playing chess with his dad and his brothers, so he loved the game from the time of his youth. My mother told me that when they got married, my dad's only request was that he get to place his lucky chess board in their house and that she would allow him to teach her the game. It gave him great joy to use his chess board and to teach his wife and eventually their children how to play the game.

I have many memories of afternoons spent in my dad's den trying to learn the game of chess on his special chess board. He would sit patiently for as long as I would listen to him talk about the rules and give me pointers on my strategies. I was never very good at chess, and I am still no expert, but I remember that I learned to love chess as much as my dad did simply because he was my hero and it was something he loved.

When my dad passed away not too long ago, I was more than happy when my siblings decided that I should keep dad's chess board in my house. None of my siblings had enjoyed the game as much as I had, so I was so grateful for their generosity in giving me the chess board that symbolized so much about my father and about our relationship.

I don't use the chess board to play chess anymore. In fact, it is used as my nightstand by my bed. I use it to hold a lamp, whatever books I am reading, and a photograph of me and my dad when I was young. I love that chess board so much. As a parent, I can only hope that I am building a strong legacy like the one my dad left from his life. I am looking for ways to spend special time with each of my children just like my dad looked for time to teach me chess on his special chess board.

About the Author

Analeese Burnabaker loves her dad's chess board more than any other item in her home. As a counselor, she encourages people to maintain relationships with parents and to cherish memories of their childhood years. See http://www.chessbboardhelp.info for more.