CW: Mention of death.
To nobody specifically:
Ok! ok! ok!
Enough of this...
She calls it all fashion
And I call it a clowns costume.
I think I will need some audiences to judge this case.
Question: What's that one thing you had rather prefer to choose all by yourself as a little kid ( say yours )?
Answer: For me.. it was my clothings.
I believe a majority will agree with me on this.
In my attic...
I find this piece of colored coat in a box. Mom had insisted i wear this coat to her friend's party in the city.
I remember vividly.
Had I gotten the guts at the time to argue back with her, or rudely walk out on her as she talked to me, or maybe packed my stuffs to leave the house frustrated.
Trust me i would have done that
I was done hearing her harsh voices puncture my eardrums all the time, telling me what to wear and what not wear to occasions, Sunday services or even to school parties like it were her own body.
But i dared not!
I dare not do any of these before Mom. Unless I want to risk loosing my feeding and shelter previledges. I could only imagine the thoughts play inside my head all the time when we begin our "Mother instructing her son on what is suitable to wear" movie episode. Most times, Dad intervened to settle this matter. As a teen ( 18) in the United States of America, you have the right to make your choices without having your parents influence those choices, and even though I was only a 12yrs old boy, still under parental care and not fully ready for life. I think I should be given a little freedom to make decisions on my wears.
It was Mrs. Mary Haggick 60th birthday today. Mom was invited, and she decided to bring me along. Before we moved out, Mom had observed my dressing outfit from the stairs and became irritated by it.
What's that you put on?
I take a thorough look at my blue round neck shirt that slacked from the right hand side, a black shorts that exposed my lower laps a bit and an oversized sandals. I looked back at her, a little frightened and without saying any word. She impatiently yells from the living room.
"David! Go change that piece of shit and put on the coat I made you. I don't want you looking like a street beggar.
" But Mom. I don't want to wear it. It looks like a clown costume.
It's called fashion and I don't expect you to fully understand what I mean.
I think it fits perfectly on you. It's my best knitting work I give to you. So you have to accept it and put it on.
Understood - she said
Enough Dave!. Not a single word anymore.
Ok Mom..- I replied unhappy.
I just clocked 12 when Mom knitted this coat and gave it as a gift. I remember seeing her in the living room on her old rocking chair going back and forth in slow moves while painstakingly interlacing different colors of wools ( purple, black, blue, white, red, yellow) using 16 inches needles to work the magic. She sang in the sweetest of voices, one of her favorite Parton's song "coat of many colors" which she says was her inspiration to make this coat.
My coat of many colors
That mama made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me.
Knitting was almost a tradition in Mom's lineage. It was a practice known to be common among the females in her line ( she once revealed) , from generation to generation. following her greatest grand mother ( I believe to be the one who started the practice) , then greater grand mother, her great grandmother, her grandmother ( my maternal grandmother) and now passed on to Mom.
When she had finished, she requested I tried it on to see if it fits.
" I think it's perfect for a handsome gentle man like you"- she said with a wide smile, and a gentle kiss to the forehead.
Dec 25th, 1994.
It was Christmas. Uncle Ben had come over to spend the holidays in our house all the way from Texas state to Kansas City. He came with his wife and two kids and a gift also.
" Happy birthday Dave"- Mr Ben said handing me his present.
I shook the pack and quickly guessed what might be inside.
" It's a wrist watch"- I said, opening the pack to see what's inside
" Thanks uncle Ben".
" You're welcomed".- he replied.
It was Mom's turn to hand me her present. I could always guess what Mom can get for me.
" It's either a lego City anime toy or my favorite raisined cookie" -i thought.
"You can open it up now Dave"- she said.
I immediately tore off the wrap, and opened up the medium size box to see. To my greatest surprise it's was the same cloth she knitted just a week ago.
" A coat!- I muttered to hide my disappointment. I looked around to see if I wasn't dreaming.
No I wasn't. It's all real.
What am I supposed to do with this now?". - I whispered ungratefully.
"Do I look like little joseph in the Bible, that she offers me "this" color mix?- I asked myself. The story of Joseph wasn't new to me to make up this comparison. I was taught in crs( religion) class in middle school, and in church about the life of joseph, and i really enjoyed it so much. Now I am about to live it in reality.
Standing there for several hours, thinking of possible outings I could attend wearing out this coat. I couldn't.
" i will be mocked greatly if I wore this to school.
"What if it's a friend's party... won't i be mistaken for a party clown?
" What about to church? How will Rev. James look at me on Sunday?. Will he use me and my coat as his next sermon on Sunday? Although, he might not sound too abusive using me as an example, but the humor remains there. It was his style of preaching, using a parishioner's physical appearance or lifestyle to explain the story of a character in the Bible.
If it was a good character.
You get lucky
And if it was a bad character, consider yourself a topic of humour for the next few days.
Once, he jokingly used Mr. Johnson and his protruding belly as an example to give the description of the rich man in the Bible while explaning the well known story of "Lazarus and the rich man". I wouldn't want that".- I worried deeply.
I came back to my senses, and only remembered I haven't thanked Mom yet.
" Thanks Mom"- I said, bowing a little.
At the party of Mary Haggick
I made contact with a lady who stared at me from a distance for a few minutes. She was one of Mom's many friends from high school who attended the party( she later revealed). All attended the famous Regina pacis Model school for girls only. She was a big woman in town from the look of things and held two small kids by her sides.
" Oh, wow!.What a lovely coat you've got there"- she said smiling and facing me before turning to give Mom a hug.
" Thanks ma'am"- I replied with a fake smile.
" This is ridiculous!!. How would you call this lovely?. This is obviously a color catastrophe and every straight thinking person should know this is not a good outfit." - I replied her in my thoughts for uttering such unnecessary compliment.
" Who made this nice piece of clothing?"- another asked.
" My mom made it for me as a birthday gift."- I said reluctantly.
For the next couple of hours, I remained silent still by Mom's side, not wanting to associate with anyone and kept ignoring unnecessary questions from people.
May 15th, 1995.
This was the saddest days of my life. Mom had bade her final farewell to this earth. Prior, she was seriously ill and was taking treatment at the hospital, until she had finally slept and never awoke again. I could only imagine how cruel death can be that it didn't even give her an opportunity to say some last words before leading her into an eternal journey. All I can do was to cry and cry until no tears is left anymore.
I held up the coat to look again, although I never wore it out since Mom's demise, but still, I admired her knitting skill.
Mom might have been a little harsh back then, but I still enjoyed her so much. I loved the memory of my childhood, whenever I glanced at this coat now sitting hopelessly in my attic.
I'm an adult, a proud father of two kids, a boy and a girl ( 8 and 13) who are currently in middle school.
Should I or should I not give out this coat to one of them as one of my will properties?
I thought deeply.