Our family had some friends over a few weeks ago. The teenage daughter was cold and asked if she could borrow a sweatshirt. I told her to go into my closet and just grab something to wear. Out the girl comes in a sweatshirt last worn by DJ. She had no way of knowing that it was his sweatshirt buried deep in my closet. She had no idea that the entire time she was wearing it during the day all I could think of was DJ wearing it and the last time that he wore it. It was a very bittersweet day and the cause of it was nothing more than a sweatshirt.
I had a good memory of DJ wearing it--He was in history class in Junior high. The teacher told the students if they had on "Titan" wear they could get out early (the school's mascot is a Titan). DJ was very quick on his feet--he always was actually until the accident ironically enough--He took out a marker and wrote a Titan design on the sweatshirt and the teacher let him go early. Always a quick thinker. This was the good memory.
The bad memory is not a memory but a realization that he was the last one ever to wear it and never would be wearing it again. I would never see his skinny, tall body in it. I do not need to explain this to you all because you get it.
The fact is that we all have bittersweet memories and we have no way of knowing when or what will trigger them. I had a teenage girl go into my closet and find the only sweatshirt of DJ's in my closet. I didn't tell the girl it was DJ's, I didn't want to make her feel awkward or bad for grabbing it. I let it go and kept it to myself. Eventually as time goes on it is easier to do that than blurt out "You can't wear that, that is DJ's!!!!"
There are many things that our family has that are DJ's and no one can touch them--his chocolate wafer bars in the fridge--yep even after almost 6 years they are saved. The chocolate kisses from his funeral that are in a Ziploc bag that no one can eat. His bicycle that no one can ride, etc. There is actually quite a long list when I begin to think about it. Maybe someday his things will be for others to have but for now they are not.
His sweatshirt was used by a lovely girl who actually knew DJ before he died so all in all it was a good share, even if she didn't know it. Maybe this is the beginning of letting some of his things go--maybe, maybe not. I challenge you all to think about what you are holding onto and if it is time to let some of them go. I'm not ready yet to let his things go but maybe tomorrow or next year--the wafers though will probably never be shared--I can't imagine they would taste good now anyway(insert smile here). Take care all friends, new and old and continue to walk and breath if only second by second. Lisa