Scraps of a Father


Sorry I've been sort of MIA this week. Just a bad case of blogstipation and general malaise. I'll probably skip the weekend as usual, but should hopefully be back daily on Monday.

This is not an artistic photo by any means, but it is an important one because of the subject. As many of you know, my father passed away when I was in high school (read my reflections in a two-part post here and here). What you probably don't know is that he owned a LOT of Hawaiian shirts - more than any teenage girl wants her father to own, let alone wear out in public. But he loved them, and had a number of different patterns lining his closet.

After he died, we spent many months going through his things, deciding what to give away, what to sell, what to keep, etc. Seeser, Mom, and I all agreed that Dad's shirts were special - because they were just so very him - but none of us really felt an urgent need to keep them for ourselves. So we gave them to D., a former student and football player of my dad's, who later became his colleague and fellow coach. D. admired my dad more than most, and looked up to him as a role model in many ways, so we wanted him to have something special to remember Dad.

He was touched, but felt uneasy about taking these special pieces from us. We assured him repeatedly that we were all keeping some of his things to remember him by, and that we wanted him to have the shirts. But it never really settled with him, because a few months ago he got in touch with me. "I have something to give you," he said. And so I arranged to meet him, thinking it would be some small memento of Dad that he had come across at the school. But instead, I saw what you see pictured above.

He had my dad's shirts made into a quilt and then framed to give back to us.

And I cried, of course. I cried because I was so touched by his kindness. I cried because I was sad for him, having lost his hero. But mostly, I cried because I could look at each and every piece of fabric and see my dad wearing it. I guess some things you just never forget, and this quilt now guarantees that I'll remember forever.

Comments

Dee said…
What an incredibly thoughtful gift! I'm sure you will treasure it.
Jill B said…
Oh, DRAT! My comment got lost in an internet blip here in Illinois. I was going to share about a quilt I'm making, of my grandpa's clothing (I'm practicing first, so as to not mess up on the important stuff).
I like the idea of a framed quilt - less pressure on the "designer".
Mike said…
Great post Lara. What a wonderful gift and a special picture and story you have shared.
That's really sweet. My dad's a Hawaiian shirt guy, too.
hanlie said…
That is very special! And a wonderful idea... I'm going to remember that.
Major Bedhead said…
That's such a lovely gesture. What an excellent idea.
Chad Oneil said…
That was a very cool idea. I'm sure it is special to you indeed.
JAM said…
That's a wonderful gift back to you.

We get away with Hawaiian shirts easier down here in Florida. The company I work for has every other Friday off, and on our "work Friday" lots of us wear the most horrific Hawaiian shirts we can find. We call it "the parade of bad taste."

It's nice that it's now a good memory of your Dad.

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