Monday, August 15, 2011

One More Step

Today I did what I could not do for the past year. 

I cleaned out my husband's dressers and closets. 
I saved a few things that will always remind me of him and who he was. The rest is nestled into 5 large contractor bags and is being donated to a homeless mission that my sister-in-law is a director of.

I saved all of my husband's running shirts and will make quilts out of them for all the kids. Lots of cutting, sewing, piecing, tears and memories but I think they will love it. 

I don't know how I feel right now. Not happy, not altogether sad. Maybe a bit numb.

How is it possible to reduce someone's life to a few packages? 

Suits, ties, and dress shirts remind of the wonderful formal times we shared. Weddings, dinners, the cruise we took and sat at the Captain's table... 

Work clothes remind me of his love for his career. He really felt he made a difference in this world, and he DID! Jim left this earth a better, cleaner place for generations to come. 

Casual clothes remind of his laid back manner, fun filled days and nights just "being us". 

All his winter wear find me picturing him flying down the snowy slopes of some mountain. Poetry in motion on skis. Family vacations, cold hands and warm mugs of coffee laced with a bit of Bailey's Irish Cream for us, hot chocolate for the kids.

Sweatshirts from college; torn, tattered but still he wore them in the fall to rake leaves. I can still see him, baseball hat on his thick head of black hair, and 30 year old sweatshirt (it's an oldie but goodie just like me he would tell me). 

So many people wrapped into one. Husband, father, son, brother, boss, so  many hats to wear and he wore them all so well with a humble humor and zest for everything in life. 

I will smile this winter when the cold winds blow knowing that someone, somewhere, will be warm in a coat, a scarf, gloves, perhaps a pair of his fine wool boot socks.

Perhaps someone will wear one of his suits to a much needed job interview. 

Maybe one of his caps will shield someone's head from the hot sun. 

I wish it wasn't so, but it was time and the clothes never really made the man. He was all he ever needed to be all by himself without any dressing up.


  1. ((HUGS)) Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    I know his things will be greatly appreciated by the homeless. I know those quilts will be treasured by your children.

  2. You are always in my thoughts and this was an event that had to come. Others will be blessed so much by what you are doing. I am sure there are many people in this blog community that are sending you loving thoughts and prayers at this sensitive time in your life. Take care and know that we care.

  3. Sending hugs and prayers. A difficult job indeed. I think the idea of a memory quilt is a good one. Will keep you busy, no doubt.

  4. I love the idea of the T-shirt quilt. Someone recently told me something that I think applies to Jim and his clothes - "his work is still being done on this earth." I know the clothes are just one example of the difference Jim's life has made and continues to make but I wanted to share that thought with you.

    Take care. Sending you hugs and peace. xoxo

  5. Like his clothes, J. just shed the clothing of the body and he is still 'him' in all his glory. The essence of that 'him' and your 'us' is always, always near you and can never ,ever be erased.

    I adore the quilt idea. :)

  6. What a difficult job. Lots of love and prayers for you.

  7. You know, my mother did the same thing when her mother left us...made a quilt with her clothes. Every time I go into mama's bedroom, I sit on the bed and remember my grandmother...I finger the calico prints that were well worn before Mama sewed the quilt, the pink flannel of her bathrobe, and I find love in the hideous red paisley that Mamaw had bought to make a dress for me - I hated it, so she made herself an apron.
    It was a good sort of therapy for Mama, as I hope it will be for you.
    Beautifully written post. I hope this can be inspirational for others suffering the loss of a loved one.

  8. I love the quilt ! how wonderful to make that and give as a gift. You took another step.
    hang in there one day at a time. I have learned recently due to some health issues that one can only take life, one day at a time! Marlene

  9. I loved this post and I am sure your husband would be very proud to hear the way you talk about him. He sounds a wonderful man, no wonder you miss him. I love the idea of the quilt and your children will love it! (((hugs)))

  10. I am thinking of you and of this continual journey you are on...

  11. As always, beautifully written with heart and soul.

  12. With the donations, there will be many lives enriched, perhaps even lives saved. God bless!

  13. You are an inspiration...I know how tough this has all been for you but, you keep putting one foot in front of the other, pouring your heart out when needed and then emerging strong enough to know when these "healthy" steps need to be taken. And, I LOVE the idea of the shirt quilt. How wonderful to be able to wrap up in his love.

  14. I held onto my mom's things for so long. Like you, one day it was just time. I also like to think that someone wore one of her beautiful suits, or coats and landed a job, or even just felt good for the day. I kept a few things that still had her smell (Oscar perfume ;-)and those are staying put.

  15. His sisters took everything. I am almost glad today.


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