Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My dad's jacket

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior.  How is everyone doing?  I pray that this blog finds you all in good health and spirits.  Everything is going good out here.  I have been having mechanical problems with this truck ever since I picked it up in Dallas, TX.  Still having problems with it but I am hoping that it will keep going until my next home time in which then I will take it to the Freightliner dealer in Oklahoma City.  I am just tired of being down for several days when I should be running.  The family is doing good back at home.  Abigail is now in 1st grade and doing very good.  She has found out what the red pen is.  Paula has started grading her papers.  She tries so hard to get high grades and one time she was so saddened when she got a 93. 
The year was 1990 and I was in 12th grade.  My friend, Anthony, was in trouble and asked if he could barrow some money.  He had gotten another speeding ticket.  So, I we drove to the Jeffersonville bank and I lent him the money.  A few month latter he was unable to pay me back so he gave me his leather jacket.  I liked the jacket.  It was a heavy leather jacket that had leather strips hanging across the back and sleeves.  I wore the leather jacket when I visited my father and he liked it.  I asked him to try it on and the sleeves were short but he didn't care.  He liked it. So, I gave him the jacket.  After I joined the navy I picked my dad up a patch of an eagle with lightning bolts in the background.  My dad liked eagles which I do too.  When I came home and visited him I gave him the patch so that he can put it on his jacket.  Yesterday, I was blessed to be able to visit family in NY.  I picked up a loaded trailer in Springfield, OH and will be delivering it in Wilton, NY.  The load has lots of time on it and I was not allowed to deliver it early.  So, I asked my dispatcher if I could go out of route and stop in White Sulpher Springs to visit family.  He told me I could.  This was the first time I got to see them since my father died.  During my visit, Val (my father's wife), asked me if I wanted his jacket.  I had a feeling she was talking about his leather jacket.  It felt weird because I had given it to him and I have never took something back that I have given someone.  It also was neat that he still had that jacket and wore it a lot after all these years and now I would have something that I gave him and he cherished.  She went into the bedroom to get it and I already felt tears coming.  My sister, Judy, what sitting next to me.  Neither Judy or Val new that this was the jacket that I gave dad.  Val brought the jacket out and sure enough, it was the jacket I gave him when I was in 12th grade.  I turned the jacket around and looked at the back and there was the eagle.  I could tell that he wore the jacket a lot.  The jacket was in real good shape.  I could tell that he took very good care of it.  But it has that well worn look to it. Val asked me if it fit me.  I put the jacket on and told Val and Judy about the day I gave dad the jacket and the patch and they were amazed.  Val now understood why the sleeves never fit and yet he always wore the jacket even though he would be teased about it.
It is amazing how God works.  How he will put things into motion to cherish great memories of those loved ones we loose and reminds us how much those people loved us.   It is those memories that bring us great joy.  I still remember the huge smile on dad's face when he put that jacket on for the first time and I told him it was his.  I remember every detail of that day.  Where he lived, where we were sitting, everything.  I am so glad that I gave him the jacket and the patch.  It means a lot to me that he put that patch on the back of the jacket and to hear that he wore that jacket a lot.  And I am so blessed that Val (not knowing that I gave him that jacket) had asked me to have it.  Thank you Val and thank you God.
Take care and God Bless
The Oklahoma Tomcat
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