Monday, July 24, 2017

Splitting Hairs: Practical and Planned

Death is a great separator. 

It separates people, places and things.

Temps are over 100 degrees so it's a perfect time to clean the closet closest to the front entry used for holding family coats and a few other "miscellaneous" items.

There they were. His coats, jackets.

More than pieces of clothing, memories hanging tightly to places and times past, never to be again.

Attached to his body before, attached to my memory now.

Pieces my oldest son would probably criticize as "costly", "branded" and other faults would be described.

He'd had similar clothes. When he outgrew them, some pieces were worn by his brother and some were passed over to my sister-in-law for her two sons. And, probably, they were passed even farther. 

Costly? Cost effective.

Almost always our clothing was on sale and chosen because the brands were well sewn, good material that lasted and style proof, meaning they withstood many years of wear because they weren't chosen to be "of the moment" but chosen for service, durability and long term savings.

"Splurges" were those special pieces, often those "memories for a lifetime" and even then, sales and special offers were always where we started and usually where we purchased.

Investment pieces we jokingly called our clothing but the truth was they more than paid for themselves in the small extra amount we paid at the time. 

Yes, we all had a few unique pieces, more trendy but basically it was basic -- a lesson I'd learned coming from a cold water flat, a father who drank more often than he worked and held down a job and a mother who stretched and made do and taught me how to do the same.

Now, I touch the leather jacket, folds in places where it draped on his body, the body that went from being so strong, so capable, so ..... to skin and bones as the MRSA, the medications, the inept decisions including making an incision causing more challenges and eventually the end of his life took their toll and he was .... gone.

We bought it on a trip. It was Disneyworld. A shop on their Main Street was having a really deep discount sale and this jacket caught my eye. 

My husband had admired one on someone but he, like me, never really said "I'd like that" or "I'm going to get one like that". 

Our family, our businesses, our needs to be met came first. Although from the outside looking in, people, especially oldest son who now says everything we did was wrong -- and dramatic ups and downs from every seven to ten years in vastly changing economies we're now just beginning to "discuss" as great factors in saving and spending -- added to our need to juggle, be creative and innovative ... always! 

And, there was our major decision to provide our children private school educations from pre school through college as each one showed special talents and abilitites we felt would best be served with specialized education only available through that choice.

My husband's "rain coat"; outer shell for Spring and Summer, inner lining made it go fairly far into the cold and wet seasons of Fall and Winter. Practical. Washable. Wearable. Casual when needed; professional for most often.

A longer heavier coat he wore to Church, for meetings and for funerals. He was a handsome man and we went well together -- or so we were told and pictures reflect.

The weight of removing these and other pieces from the closet to look over, decide if they should be kept or given away as many other pieces of his clothing -- to be used by others, to be passed on now that he had passed from walking this way and gone another. . .

It still takes me a great deal of time to "go through" things. Many I'd hung up, put away or given a few pieces to our sons, kept for our daughter and, for myself, or given so that others can benefit from the life of someone who lived the Rotary Moto "Service Above Self" and who lived with me the life of passing along to others, giving and sharing, caring and taking care of those who are in need in family and community.

Time to get back to the work of splitting hairs -- looking through clothing and other items and deciding which to keep and what to give away. 

Sometimes it's exactly that -- with an item that could be kept or could be given away -- and I choose to put it back, for just a little while longer, until another time when I can perhaps move from splitting hairs to making practical and planned decisions as I've learned.

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