The Pea Coat: Lose Your Voice Today!

I've been slowly making my way through Bob's half of the closets. I'm not parting with any of his things, just storing them for now. Still, it's a heart-wrenching task, touching each item. The memories are overwhelming.

Work shirts, motorcycle pants, the death t-shirt he loved to wear to chemo, and at the back of the closet, his pea coat. Well, it wasn't really his, I guess. It was inherited from a good friend when her father passed. Bob loved that coat, especially when he traveled to colder climates.

He had a great story about wearing it to his first Packers game, standing there with his arms crossed, beer in hand. Somebody told him he needed to move. "Oh, I'm sorry, am I in your way?" he asked. "No, dude, there's a snow drift forming on you."

It's a warm coat.

I pulled it out of the closet, and as I did with each of his coats, checked the pockets. In the outer pocket I found his ear muffs. Well, not real ear muffs. They're those tiny, individual ear covers. He liked those better.

As I checked the inner pockets, I found what felt like a postcard. I pulled it out. On the front was a black and white shot of Lambeaux field.


I flipped it over.


See, that was Bob's first NFL game ever. It was a playoff game. And it was at Lambeaux field with his friend John, a lifelong fan who had taken Bob there to see the game.

I quickly texted John a picture of the note. It was, as I suspected, from him to Bob.

After I finished a sob fest, wrapping myself in the coat, clutching the note, and texting with John, I thought about Bob at that game, and how happy his was to be there; how much he loved life; how much he lived for "losing his voice."

Wallowing was not part of his world, and any time I do it for too long, I feel him kick me in the ass. It's time to lose my voice!


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