Suede

Sometimes when it snows, like it did today, I think of a time in my teen years!

I’ve written about this many times but I grew up with an addict brother and he lost his driver’s licence because of repeated DUIs. I was tasked with driving him to and from his factory job for a couple of years. It was probably the longest he’d ever been at a job, those two years.

One afternoon I picked him up in our Safari van and he had a friend, or colleague with him who was, well, let’s say, ‘rough’. I was judgmental and my brother told me that I was. A drug addict. An alcoholic. I didn’t care much for his thoughts. I had been through a lot with him, and people like him.

When I was 16 my dad told me to get a job. That he would no longer financially support me. I worked on average 44 hours a week, while studying to get into university. One of my first purchases with my earnings was a suede jacket from The Gap that cost $400.

One wintry night, my brother, took my jacket from my closet to wear out. He came home and my jacket was ruined. Suede doesn’t take well to snow, or rain. I was upset, but I was used to being upset in that home.

I woke one night, at around 2:00 a.m. and went to the kitchen to get some water and witnessed my dad at the table trying to ‘fix’ my jacket. He was scrubbing the spots the snow had tarnshied. Vigorously.

My dad had subtle ways of telling me he loved me. And that he respected me. And that he was sorry he couldn’t provide more.

This is what I think of when it snows. Sometimes.

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