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My dad was born on December 5, 1920. Dad loved wearing red; shirts, sweaters, pants, hats, and for the last decade or so of his life, a bright red windbreaker jacket. Me, not so much. In fact, I have always disliked wearing red. The closest I’d come was my blue Boston Red Sox cap with its red B.
Shortly after dad passed in 2014, my sister and I got together to go through his things. When we came across the red windbreaker I impulsively told her, “I’ll take it.” It was the only piece of his clothing I kept.
Now when we get cool mornings and evenings in Arizona (yes, we do occasionally get them), I often put on dad’s red jacket before going out and each time I smile and remember. I often think of my first memory of him when I was three or four. We are in the car, dad’s driving and he’s singing. Dad loved singing to my sister and I, and he loved driving around. He had a standard repertoire – including I’ve Been Working On The Railroad, Skin a Marink a Dink, and all four military service songs. We learned them all, sang along and never tired of them. As I write this I can hear his soft and smooth singing voice. I’ve inherited his love of singing (I’m not very good but have a wider range of tunes) and, like him, enjoy going on drives with no particular destination in mind. And now my son has the same driving habits.
So I’ll continue to gladly make this exception to my aversion to red clothing. Just don’t ask me to wear anything else red.
And now we’re making new memories. Three days ago, our first grandchild was born to our daughter and son-in-law. I wore the red jacket to the hospital. Dad would appreciate that.