I don’t think I’ve ever realized how weird the time between Christmas and New Years is. I think because both holidays fell on a Monday, it was short work weeks and a long weekends. It’s well after the new year already, but sheesh! I’m still so out of sorts with what day it is.
Christmas came and went so quickly, but we had a wonderful first Christmas with Elizabeth. Girlfriend got so spoiled! Our families were so generous and gave her (and us) the most amazing gifts. Elizabeth got not one, but TWO La Kings jerseys. She’s the cutest little Kings fan around.
Of all the wonderful gifts, my favorite was a jean jacket from Baby Gap that my mom got her. You’re probably thinking, “a jean jacket? That’s your favorite? Okay, weirdo.” I know, I know. But hear me out.
When I was just a wee nugget myself, my uncle Johnny (my mom’s brother) lived in San Francisco. We didn’t see him often, but he would always send James and me the best clothes, including a jean jacket from Baby Gap. I wore that jacket so much it might as well have been sewn on. I looked so fly!
Uncle Johnny passed away when I was around five. I don’t really remember too much about him. I have some very faint memories that flicker in and out like an old movie reel. I remember his house vividly though. It was a traditional SF house with the garage being street level and the living spaces on the second. He also had a third floor that you could get to via this gorgeous spiral staircase. I remember a huge bay window that overlooked the street and onto a small park. I remember his kitchen had this big, beautiful butcher block island with pots and pans hanging above it. Thinking back, it’s exactly the house I would love to have now! My uncle was an artist and also a barber. He LOVED animals. He was always taking in stray animals and nursing them back to health before setting them back into the wild. Gee Mom, I wonder where I get that habit from!
Because I didn’t have much time with my uncle, I cherished that jean jacket. After he had passed, I was at the store with my mom trying on clothes and accidentally left the jacket in the dressing room. When my mom went back to get it, someone had already taken it and it was gone. The one last reminder I had from my uncle was gone forever.
I wish I had that jacket to pass down to Elizabeth. I would’ve told her all the things I remember about my uncle Johnny. I’d tell her that he would’ve loved her so much if he was still alive to meet her. He would’ve shown her how to take care of baby birds that fell out of nests and how to make the best finger paintings.
Instead, when she’s big enough to fit into her jacket, I’ll tell her about how her mommy had a jacket just like hers. And though she doesn’t have it anymore, all the memories live on in mommy’s heart forever.