Posted on August 01, 2021

“What do you think you’re doing? Mary burst into her bedroom, catching Tonya with an old flannel shirt. His flannel shirt. 

    “Mom, I’m just trying to help!”

    “I don’t need your help!” Mary looked at the pile of Bob’s old clothes. Those jeans he refused to get rid of. Tears stung as she remembered his voice. They finally fit just right honey. Ok. I won’t wear them in public. The blue suit he wore on their first date. I knew then I wanted to marry you. Just didn’t think you would. Prettiest girl I ever saw. She picked it up, holding it close, remembering their first kiss. Tears. Tenderness. She wanted to flop on the bed and sob. Instead she defended her decision.

    “I don’t need your help! Put everything back!” Mary yanked the flannel shirt out of Tonya’s hand, caressing it to her chest, feeling it’s softness as she lifted it to her flushed cheek to soak away her tears.

    “Mom, I’m sorry.” Tonya reached out, hugging her mom, crying with her. Mary’s stiff body began to relax.

    “This was your dad’s favorite.” She grinned. “He never let me wash it. Said that would ruin it.” 

    The two sat on the bed. “Remember when we went camping?” Tonya breathed into the frayed flannel hoping the scent of campfires, marshmallows and fried fish lingered. 

    Mary nodded.”I’m just not ready honey.”

    “I’m sorry Mom. I miss him too. But you gotta let go. You don’t need all his stuff.”

    “I will, just maybe later. Go through the boxes in the basement and garage first. I know you miss him. Even at 50 you are still his little girl.” She paused, as if reading her daughter’s mind. “You really want this shirt, don’t you?”

    “I do, but not if you need it. I just wanted to wear it to remember all the good times. Do you have another so I can make a pillow for my couch?”

    “I’m glad you told me. You just took me by surprise. I want you to have it honey. And you know? When I’m ready, maybe we can sew the kids teddy bears. Lord knows the man had more of his fair share of flannel shirts!”

    Tonya chuckled and took her mother’s hand, pulling her up and toward the door. “Let’s take a break! Come on Mom, you still make the best Snickerdoodles in the county. Remember when…? 

Oh your dad! He always….”  The screen door slammed. “Tony! It’s about time you got here! We were just talking about the time when your Dad….”


Family belongings. Even the smallest, seemingly innocent insignificant item can become highly valued more than pure gold. A childhood toy, Dad’s fishing rod, or Mom’s wooden spoon. Then there’s items of high monetary value. Who gets those? Did Mom really promise that to the other? “No she didn’t! That’s mine! You don’t even want them, you just would sell them for the money!” Sadly it is at this point when family arguments erupt and the damage can last a lifetime. Make it your goal to “come out whole.” ▪


Leave a comment

Plan a Gathering & 

Celebrate a life that has been lived and has touched so many.

Play button icon. Click to plan a gathering or celebration.

Services and

Browse our online catalog of products and services we offer.

Play button icon. Click to view Services and Merchandise.

Local Grief Support

Find a support group to help you cope with grief.

Play button icon. Click to plan a gathering or celebration.