Do you ever wonder how many miles are on your shoes? Or pick up your grandchild’s feet, tickle their toes, and wonder where they’ll take them some day? Or buy a piece of clothing from a thrift store, and wonder who it belonged to? Where they wore it to? What they’re doing now?
Do you wonder about all of the people in the background of the photos you’ve taken of loved ones over the years? Or touch the pages of an old library book, and wonder who else turned those pages?
I do. I wonder all sorts of things that most people might think are quite odd. But I wonder. I suppose I wonder a lot.
A few years after my Dad died, my mom started going through some of his clothing. I came over one day, and I found his old light blue jacket that he wore for many years in a stack for the Good Will. I don’t think she found it strange at all that I would ask to keep it. We’re a sentimental family, and Dad’s hat still hangs on a hook in my dining room behind the kitchen table. I know he’s gone, but it’s just a reminder of what a special Dad I had.
Well that blue jacket hung in my closet for at least a decade, and Rory, Ian, and I would stash money in the pockets. The kids would call me at work and need something, and I’d just tell them, “Take some money from Papa’s pocket!”
But in 2012, Rory saved and saved, and saved, and saved to buy Holly an engagement ring. Every now and then I stop in that jewelry store, and the gal who sold it to him remembers I’m Rory’s mom, and re-tells the story of how he saved and saved, and finally was able to come in and pay it off one day. I’ll never forget that night when Rory asked, “Mum? Would it be okay if I borrowed Papa’s jacket? I wanna put Holly’s ring in the pocket until I ask her to marry me.”
Oh! Be still my HEART! I was so tickled! Papa would have loved that.
So for the first time in many years, the jacket left my closet and made its way into Rory’s room, where Holly’s engagement ring stayed until September 12, 2012 when he literally walked right into her math class and interrupted the teacher to come ask his girl to marry him.
That jacket eventually made it’s way back to my closet, and for several more years was the hiding place for extra cash. But in August 2021, Ian decided to ask Hayley to be his bride, so guess what I did!
I packed up Papa’s old blue jacket, and sent it across the U.S. to Denver, Colorado! And another beautiful diamond was safely kept in Papa’s pocket until Ian popped the question on a hike with his gal, and their friends in Georgia. Papa would have loved that, too.
Now the two couples are blissfully married and Rory and Holly have three kids of their own. The old blue jacket is hanging in Ian’s closet in Denver, and quite frankly, I think I need to go and get it! I wonder where it will wind up some day, who will stick their hands in its pockets, who’s prized possessions, or trinkets, or diamond rings will be safely tucked in Papa’s pockets!
And I wonder if someday my great grandchildren will ever stick their hands in its pockets and wonder anything at all about the wonderful man it belonged to, and then their grandparents can share some of their memories and stories about him and Beema (their Grandma). I do hope it never leaves the family, and that my grandkids cherish it someday. And I hope they hide their treasures in it, and perhaps some day… a ring!
Oh Dad, I think you’d really, really love how much we still enjoy your old blue jacket!
I miss ya, Dad.