Wednesday, November 9, 2005

The shirt

I've had a silly, coughing-all-night cold for a few days now, so I'm not getting my full quota of sleep.  Yesterday morning I was having chills, and put my old Army sweatshirt on.

"Nice hoodie, Grandma,"  Monica commented.

"Thanks, Monica.  This thing is twenty years old.  See how the lettering is all messed up?"  And that got me thinking about the history of the shirt.

Am I the only person who gets sentimental about some old article of clothing?  No other sweatshirt feels quite as comfy as this one, and I just can't give it up.  I've worn it when I worked in the unheated apple shed at the orchard.  I wore it to the barn under my coveralls, when I milked cows.  And when I was walking over three miles a day every day, this is the shirt that best kept me warm.

What am I doing with a shirt with such grim sayings on it, you ask?  (or maybe you didn't ask, but if you keep reading, you're going to find out.)

My son went to Fort Benning, Georgia, for basic training in 1985, at the age of eighteen.  Our relationship had been a bit stormy just prior to his leaving, as is common with teenagers and their parents.  But fences were pretty much mended when he left, and I took a great deal of pride in the fact that he was serving our country.  I even wrote a song about him, at the time, expressing my pride.

He was wearing this shirt on his first visit home from basic training, and for some reason, I loved it at first sight.  He had some deep blue sweat pants that he wore with it.  Somehow I just thought the whole outfit was the neatest thing I'd ever seen.

I don't know if I asked him for the clothes outright, or if I simply hinted so much that he gave them to me.  Maybe he remembers. 

But when he left, I had the sweats.  The pants long ago wore out, but the "hoodie", as Monica calls it, seems indestructable.  By the time I die, the lettering will probably be undecipherable, but the shirt, I believe, will last as long as I do.

Maybe it's just a reminder of the pride I had in my son, in 1985.

Here's one verse, and the chorus, of the song I wrote to my son back then:

There's a rough and rocky road ahead, but I know you'll make it through.
Remember, anywhere you go, your mama prays for you.
Though we've had our little problems, I have loved you through them all,
And it's good to see my only son grown up, and standing tall.

To the Pride of '67, my bouncing, baby son.
I can't believe the way you've grown,
Or the distance you have come.
The center of my universe, and Daddy's "little man",
Now the pride of '67 goes to work for Uncle Sam.

Now, to all my friends who say, "I wouldn't have anything to journal about," if I can do entries about an article of clothing, anyone can write about anything!


deslily said...

LOL.. great great story!
I had an article of clothing like that.. it was a bathrobe that zipped up the front. It was just the most comfortable thing i had and i loved when evening came and i took my bath so that i could wear it!  My x of course hated it... the first thing to happen was that the elbow part got so thin you could see thru it... still i wore it.  The X bought me other robes.. ocassionally i wore them to appease him but always went back to the "old robe".. lol I remember in the end there were other areas that got so thin you could see thru them lol...  I honestly can't remember when i finally got rid of it.. maybe it's because i'd rather think i still had it?

ora4uk said...

I would have to say "a flannel nightgown"....was the best....but that is a story I am saving for my journal LOL...this was great....Hugs...Ora

madcobug said...

I once had an old T-shirt nightgown that I loved that Ken got for me. I wore until it was threadbare.Then Ken got me two news once to replace it. I finally gave it up but think I may still have it packed back in the drawer.
Hope you feel better soon. Helen

msecz said...

thats beautiful... My son went into the army very young too and I sure was sad and eventually proud of him too... that is a beautiful song you wrote for him.Hope your cold gets better soon now, Sandra

ksquester said...

Wonderful song Mo. I remember those days of 18 yr old sons, turbulent times. Glad they blew over, aren't you?   Anne

lordofbutter said...

Beautiful. Period.

terra19728 said...

Well thanks for stopping by my journal!!  

Beautiful song.


marainey1 said...

You are soooo good at writing it all down too !  Hope you're feeling better !  'On Ya' - ma

siennastarr said...

That little excerp from the song you wrote gave me a lump in my throat.  You can tell how much you love him, and how proud you were/are in every line.  

I love your entries, Mosie..  I feel as thought I'm right there with you, when you take walks, or go on your motorcycle adventures!

Write on! :)


csandhollow said...

Something old and comfy always helps when you are not feeling well.

memes121 said...

Oh man (or woman as the case may be), that gave me chills! The song not the shirt. I mean I like the shirt but it warms you not chills...oh never mind!

robinngabster said...

What a beautiful entry. I have an old denim shirt of my Dad's that I feel the same way about. I am so glad you have something you can put on and not only feel warm in but feel all warm and fuzzy in your heart too.

ravenlark2 said...

I have shirts like that too. How wonderful that I am reading this on Veterans Day. Thank your son for me. It's because of him and people like him that we are free today.