Quilted Memories
Reader's Digest Canada|May 2020
Quilted Memories
After my husband passed away, my children found a novel way to honour him.
Mary Jane Philp

HE WAS NO clothes horse, but my husband’s story is in what he wore.

I’m writing this after 18 months of living without the man I had known for more than 50 years and it still feels surreal. Rob died of cancer in 2018. Our lives together created many memories—rich experiences, gladly shared— and I know they are what will help sustain me. Still, when our two sons and their wives presented me with a surprise memento of their father, I was quite literally speechless.

After his death, we went through closets and drawers—that is what we do when we don’t know what to do. One of his passions was mountain biking. He was highly skilled, winning races up to the provincial level. There were lots of colourful cycling jerseys. On the other hand, many of his everyday shirts were common checks and plaids, and almost all were relics. Our sons each took several items; probably not to wear, but something familiar of their dad’s to keep. Those tasks kept us busy—and close—in the first days of our new reality.

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May 2020