I have an old tattered sweat shirt that I love. My friend Kim (friend since 1st grade lives way up North in the suburbs of Chicago) gave it to me for either my birthday or Christmas in 1992, or sometime thereabouts. I loved it. I wore it all the time. It was the style at the time. Oversized. The way we wore our t-shirts then too. I still try to do this for Buttercup...buy her big ol' t-shirts. She keeps reminding me how young girls like to wear shirts that fit...what do I know?
But back to my tattered wad of comfort... It wasn't too thick or too thin. I remember about 5 years later, my parents and one of my really good college friends Michelle begging me to give it up. That's also about the time I met my now husband, the Walrus. He even chimed in on how unflattering the worn out garment was. The letters on the front were wearing off (there used to be blue plaid in that stitching) and I wore it e v e r y w h e r e. I mean everywhere. It wasn't the style then and it was already falling apart but I didn't care. It was comfortable and one of my best friends gave it to me and I have lots of memories doing fun college activities with the people I cared for most.
I am by no means a hoarder but I understand a snippet of what they feel. The feeling of not being able to let go. The tension that comes with the threat that somebody else will make the decision for you. I do tend to hold on to things just a tad bit too long. Duh. Thank goodness it has never escalated into an all out addiction and the eventual rabbit hole that leads you to being buried under stuff. That's why I can't watch that show. When I have, it's like I feel what they feel and I can't distinguish between myself and the person on the tv for that moment in time. (also the reason I haven't watched the news in 15+ years. Even at the news networks I worked for, I avoided it.) It's awful. I can't imagine living in that kind of anguish but I do, although much smaller in nature, from time to time. But as usual, I digress.
I haven't worn in it public in a good 5 to 8 years. Well if I did, it was under a coat or I went walking or running in it. I wear it around the house. Yesterday, I noticed it's now see-through.
I have to give it up. You know, 20+ years later. Wow. 20 years. A lot has happened in that time.
I graduated college in that time. Something I thought might not ever happen even though at the time I wanted it more than anything. I met my husband-to-be. Got promoted to manager at work. Quit 6 months later to pursue my degree in broadcasting at Turner Broadcasting with the encouragement of one of my professors and husband. I saw Kim and Michelle each get married. Bought our first house. Moved on from Turner and traveled the country as a software trainer. Met and brought home Holly, our eldest doggie. Lost my childhood dog after 18 wonderful years. Adopted Maggie, just a tad younger than Holly. Married the Walrus. Had a baby boy. Moved on from traveling for work to staying at home with baby. Eventually finding a work-at-home job. Lost my mom too soon. Sold our first house and made our first big move out of state to Alabama. Bought our 2nd house. Found roots in our new home that I've never had in my life. Roots are good. We found home. Home came at a perfect time in my life. Met and adopted our youngest doggie, Shine.
Life is good. We're about to make it through our 5th winter on the mountain. The old folks here say you have to survive 5 winters on the mountain before she deems you worthy. [LOVE that] The Walrus and I are about to celebrate 10 years of marriage. Buttercup is halfway through her first year in high school. The elder doggies are slowing down.
All with my tattered old wad of love...in tow, worn to bed, worn while I work at home, or just folded in a drawer in the next room.
It's all so joyous and/or life affirming.
But it's definitely time.
Time to give it the proper goodbye in a literal blaze of glory. I think a celebration fire is in order. A celebration of life and all that it witnessed.
Goodbye old friend. It was a good fire. We enjoyed your flame for quite a bit.