What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

– Dad’s belts

on December 22, 2014

A week has passed since my father died. I still feel very close to him. I think I would in any case, but it’s helped that we’ve been looking through photos and sharing stories while I’ve been editing his memoir of sailing in the United States Maritime Service during WWII.

Much as I love him, well as I think I knew him, he could puzzle me still, and today he did. So that my Mom wouldn’t have to, Nimue and I assumed the task of sorting through his clothes. Most of them will go to Opportunity House, a local charity and thrift store, but I’ve accepted the bequest of a shirt and work boots. (In our respective middle ages, Dad and I were about the same size.) My brothers might make use of a few other items, and my brother-in-law will see if his sweaters fit.

They may try on Dad’s belts, too, but I expect we’ll wind up shedding most if not all of them. Such a plurality of belts! And that’s what surprised me, how many were hanging in his closet.

I don’t have a dress code, but cultural expectations lead me to dress “professionally” on frequent occasion. Dad modeled it for me, and I would have said I learned most of my tastes and practices from him. Granted that I try to keep it simple, I have only one belt … whereas Dad had fifteen.

Fifteen belts, Dad … why? And why did you keep eight that are cracked, splitting, or fraying along a seam? Okay, this one here, I see, must have been your “painting” belt. But after that, and one good black and one good brown belt, how many did you need?

Fox says, "They make good toys; I love to chase a belt!"

Fox says, “They make good toys; I love to chase a belt!”

I know he, in turn, might ask me why I intend to throw away belts that are perfectly good (well, except for some splits, cracking, and loose threads). Much as we were alike, we weren’t the same. And actually, I think he loved that about me. I love it about him.

shedding style: throw away
destination: the landfill

Comments welcome … what did you learn, and not learn, from your parents about “stuff”?


5 responses to “– Dad’s belts

  1. Sorting through a loved one’s belongings is a revealing experience. When my brother-in-law died, we discovered he had kept every credit card that he had ever owned and many other credit card type bits of plastic. In total my sister found over 200 of them! We have never worked out why, but it does make us smile… everyone has their quirks.
    Are you going to publish your dad’s memoirs?

    • revdarkwater says:

      A credit card collection! It would offer a wider window into modernity in the West than postage stamps, I think.

      We do plan to publish, probably via a blog, with an e-book option for any who want it in a bookish format. Mr. S-o-H e-published a novel, I recall. Would he mind sharing anything he learned?

  2. I’m very sorry for your loss.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: