Friday, October 24, 2008
Most of us have a favorite old garment we pull out on occasion to comfort ourselves from life stresses. Mine is a vintage, bright blue , soft, cotton polo shirt. It isn't really my shirt, although it has been in my possession for the past 25 years.
It is, literally, the shirt off my brother's back.
Years ago, my brother and I worked together for a spell and there came a day where he made a decision I did not agree with but which bound me to a commitment I didn't seek and did not want to honor. I was really, really angry with my brother and advised him of my extreme displeasure.
As I recall, that advisement was delivered at volume and, sad to admit, not much grace. To this day I can still see the pained look on my brother's face as he told me he would never do anything to upset me this badly and he'd give me the shirt off his back if that would make us square. My response? "Hand it over"...which he promptly did.
On the days when I arrive home feeling a bit overwhelmed or very tired, I head for a hot shower and my brother's shirt. It comforts me because it is old, soft, loose. It comforts me because I am reminded I have a brother who would give me the shirt off his back, and I am comforted because I am reminded I've had worse days, those where grace wasn't on my agenda.
Regarding comforts, I guess there is always scotch and water for folks without shirtless brothers.