29 Oct 2016

My dad’s Army jacket.


I am sitting in the outdoor office, with a pile of sunflower seeds to attract the chipmunks, and a mason jar of homemade cider kefir and tea. I got chilly, went in, got a hat and. . . . my father’s army jacket.

Here is a photograph of him wearing it; he’s 20 at the most; I am guessing early winter 1945, after he got home because of all the medals. It fit him. It fits me.


I feel him when I wear his jacket. He was attached enough to it to keep it all his life; I never knew it existed, until after he died and his closets were being emptied. I now have an explanation for all the stuff my dad had in his dresser box that bewildered me when I was little and snooping. I know who the photograph is of the blonde haired GI who looked sort of like my Uncle Merrill, but not. It is of Donald Suereth, beloved of my father, for whom I am named.

I figure I am about half through the acute grief. I’ve finally lost the weight from the 3 months of marshmallows (organic of course) that I ate after he died. 6 months after that, I am finally comfortable in my clothes again.

Grief shows up in unpredictable ways. Like suddenly feeling the urge to wear my father’s jacket. Or, suddenly intensely wishing that he was here, although he would have been speechless with outrage about this election.

Grateful too. . . I never knew how much he was a part of me. Music. Open-minded about religion. Hard-working. Educated. Open to new ideas.

Thanks Dad.








3 Responses to My dad’s Army jacket.
  1. Think of it as hugs he might have wanted to give but was unable to.

  2. Thank you for the lovely thought, Leanne.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.