Saturday, September 3, 2016

a quilt is more than memories, it is a hug from an old friend

"Measuring a summers day
 I only find it slips away to grey
the hours they bring me pain.
Tangerine, Tangerine
 living reflections from a dream
 I was her love she was my queen
 and now a thousand years between.
Thinking how it used to be, 
does she still remember times like these
to think of us again
and I do" 
(Led Zeppelin)

  (above, Rob in some of his many awesome T-shirts.  Left, Rob and Noah in a side by side comparison in the exact same T-shirt around the same age, too.)

If you never met Rob and only know him through my words, I bet you can still get a visual of him in his Converse, Levi's, a T-shirt, and a flannel.  I knew him 24+ years and rarely saw him in anything else.  It was that (and his love for Mountain Dew) that people who knew him best vividly remember about him.  Oh, sure, he was in the Air Force for 16 years and so he wore a lot of uniforms in his day, but having his work clothes pre-decided for him just meant that his entire closet was full of flannels, his drawers full of T-shirts, and his shoes only ever black converse high-tops (well, except the time he wore purple plaid ones for our wedding).  Both his son's closets and drawers hold exactly the same wardrobe with many of the same favorite brands, bands, and (of course) Star Wars. 
     As Rob's best friend, Kraig, put it to me in a recent conversations, "Rob always did have the best shirts".  They ranged from his favorite bands (Led Zeppelin, Pixies, Aerosmith), to Itchy & Scratchy, CoCo's (where he worked in Waukesha for a long time), Independent Skateboards, Star Wars, to brands he loved, and then later to military shirts from places he was stationed or runs he completed after he discovered he was kind of great at the long distance running thing.
   After Rob passed away we saved all his wardrobe, and for a long time I couldn't think about doing anything with the clothes.  Finally, three years passed, and I was willing to give in to what Sarah had suggested in the first place.  I let my mom take all the T-shirts and flannels that we had (some had been lost over the years, and others the kids claimed to keep) and she created an awesome memory quilt.  It took her a while to complete and she is still working on the binding, but I can share the finished face and backside with you.   
 what an amazing job my mom did.   I am so grateful for her time.  I am thankful for Sarah helping me pick out all the shirts and flannels.  

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