BWMurdoHist-424It was just a shirt, a black shirt with two soccer-like white stripes going down the sides of each short sleeve.  It fit small and short but one time fit loose and long on me as I played at the dirt place when I small enough to have it come down to my mid thigh. It had a small  emblem on the upper right side with the words “Black Watch Drum and Bugle Corps” circling it in white cursive letters. I wore it in high school, occasionally wondering what would have been if I had never put down the trumpet. It was worn during college on many occasions, to many parties and bars,  and I know there are numbers of pictures of me in the shirt, as it was one of my favorites.   I  think I may remember when I got it- I believe it was when I went with my parents to see them live however the shirt always tickles up the memory of my Uncle John so it very well could have been a gift from him.  Over the years the shirt got closer and closer to the bottom of the shirt pile, often left in another random clothing box during a move until I unearthed its treasure months and months later.   I found it once again about three months ago when I was again trying to clean the clutter and downscale in my house.  I was delighted finding it, hugging it like an old friend, and happily put it on the hanger next to newer clothes.

I’ve been working on more simplification and weeding out of excess in my life and home.  My closet seems to be ever-growing as far as items go but not in relation to space.    I went from large walk-in closet in an apartment to a very small hanging room only single door space for all of my clothing.  I have had to do a whole lot of weeding out and consideration for what I actually wear.

Sifting through the clothing has been an ongoing process and an act of therapeutic release from material objects.  I often have attached memories to my clothing.  I remember what I was wearing on my first date with my fiancee (after chaining from bike clothing).  I have my certain “sick” shirts that somehow make me feel better when I’m ill.  I also typically remember here I got the clothes and who I was with when I purchased them.  Yeah, I’m a rainman of wardrobe,  idiot savant of ensemble, or something like that.  It is not that I am a “cloths girl” but I do adore my hoodie sweatshirts and obnoxious plaid boy shorts for the fact that they express a bit about me.

This week I did another serious assessment of my clothing and removed any shirts I no longer wore on a regular basis.  I’ll be sharing the closet someday soon and don’t need to muck it up with  unnecessary accouterments.   I de-enlisted  a number of new looking GAP shirts, some t’s I thought were once cute on me but  now know better, and a few long sleeve loves that I know would get more use with someone else.

All of these articles were packed up nicely and added to a clothing bag which I brought with me this morning to “Feed My People”.  There is no longer an official clothing program associated with the breakfast because it became too overwhelming but I was told I could bring personal things and have them if guests needed.  Tuesday was a rainy, rainy, morning and many of the guests were asking for dry clothing- of which we had none to give.

As I went to go out the door this morning, I grabbed my bag of clothes and my old black cotton friend fell out.  I picked it up and all of my memories and associations came back.  I thought about keeping it because it was special though I had not worn it in over a month.  I decided no, I was bringing the clothes for people who really needed them and it was no longer about me.  I folded it nicely and put it back in, under the colorful GAP shirts.  I figured the GAP clothing would be selected first but eventually someone would take Black Watch and maybe if they didnt, I’d sneak it back into my possession.   I brought the bag in and left it at the front desk so the woman there could give the families with children who were staying in some of the church rooms when they came out.

This morning as I stood over near the coffee line helping out by making sure the sugar and creamer were full and having random conversations with the many guests I consider friends, I noticed my shirt.  I looked up and saw a woman wearing it and it was now her shirt.  Silly as it is, it was as if I saw an old friend happy again and the guest was happy to have a nice clean new shirt.  She seemed proud of her new threads and I had no regrets about adding it back to my donation bag. The shirt was no longer my shirt but her new shirt and another possession she owned and it was beautiful.  I wanted to go up to her and tell her all about how I got the shirt, the memories and good times I had it in, but I didn’t.  I just smiled really big as I said hello to her when she passed through the line.

It may seem silly and overly dramatic but it was just a shirt of cotton and thread and now it is memories and so much more.

I’m so blessed with the small and simple opportunity to help out.  I am exceptionally thankful for that.

~ride blessed ya’ll

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