Pants

I imagine myself a builder of rich

earthy landscape memorials

While raking leaves in the garden this day.

 

Sprayed with a million tears, my garden

offers a safe place

Where I tend to stories,

memories, pictures,

reminders

 

Woven somewhere inside of me.

 

I keep returning home, at times

 

To unexpected anger and then some new glory

behind it all, traveling through wishes

to every dearly remembered moment,

 

This legacy of you.

Pants was sewn from fragments of fabric cut from the contributions below

Bencion Kampos – d. 2006 at 96 years old

My Great Uncle Bencion's three-piece brown suit represents an era, where gentlemen walked down the street, respected members of society, wearing suit and hat and speaking polite conversation to one another…He wrote books at the age of 93...He delighted himself in using ink that was not just regular blue, but azure like the sea in Italy. As he explained, his name looked more dignified signed in azure...His suit was his persona. It was the bridge from his rich, but lonely, inner world which connected him to others...His death is the death of the three-piece suit worn daily, even to the corner store.


Myrtle Genevieve Matteson Leatherman – d. 2002 at 94 years old

The lovely light green knit wedding suit was a classy outfit for a classy, well-educated, beautiful young lady…It seems very special as it was not the usual white long gown. The earth green, the colour of new leaves, perhaps a symbol of the abundant life. The knit texture points to the woven, interconnectedness of all of life...Mom's wedding dress, her writings, and all the fond memories are like hidden treasures.


Charles Hounsell – d. 1998 at 86 years old

My grandfather always had a story to tell, a song to sing and an idea to share. He'd been a woodsman, a fisherman and a carpenter, but to hear him speak, you'd swear that he was a statesman…Whenever there was trouble at home, I was sent to visit him…We watched Haystack Calhoun wrestle the Valiant Brothers and drank tea with sugar and Carnation evaporated milk. During commercials, I would stare into the painted eyes of deckhands on the model schooners my grandpa built, or the alpine meadows in the landscapes he painted.


Gerald Vernon Dryden – d. 2007 at 83 years old

These grey corduroy pants were Dad's favourite pair, worn and comfortable, really an extension of his genuine and relaxed nature. The red golf shirt has special meaning for me as it was the shirt I helped him to put on the afternoon we brought him to hospital. In my mind's eye, I see my lovely Dad being held gently by my husband as I slipped this shirt over his head....It was the last piece of clothing of his own he ever wore. The final piece is a raggedy old hoodie...It still smells like his pipe and you can see the burns on the sleeves from when the wind took the ashes from the pipe pot and scattered them about. My father loved to sit outside and smoke his pipe. It was in returning inside that he slipped and fell, starting in motion the events that led to his death...Dad lived a life without judgment, without prejudice, seeking to do right by another and ultimately touching the lives of many...These are the gifts that were Dad's and they live on for us who remember.


Frank Masak – d. 1999 at 79 years old

My father was many things - a WW2 survivor, a husband, a father to three children, an engineer, a pilot, an athlete, an accomplished cook, a gardener, a builder - but a natty dresser he was not. He really took little interest in clothes or what people looked like. He cared more about what was on the inside. He once lectured me about selecting boyfriends and gave an example of a friend who had married "a homely woman with a good heart." ...At his memorial service, my mother said, "If you can measure the wealth of a man by the love that he left behind, then Frank was a very wealthy man."


Helen Mary McQuarrie (a.k.a. Mrs. M) – d. 1986 at 78 years old

I am sharing the crazy quilt you made me from leftover scraps of my and your dresses, blouses, skirts and pants, which you sewed…The pale blue metallic pieces are my surprise grade 12 graduation dress…the bright green scraps are my bell bottom pants…I see your long remembered house dresses in the flowered cotton scraps...Store bought clothes, like store bought cookies, just weren't the same as homemade ones...Thank you for always loving me and for still being in my memories so I can always talk to you.


Angela Kokolakis – d. 2007 at 73 years old

The day before her surgery, my mother was in her garden from morning 'til early evening. It was like she knew that she would not see her garden again. She spent her last full day on this earth doing what she loved to do best and what gave her so much joy and tranquility...This is the shirt she often wore gardening. I found it in her bedroom on a chair, just as she had placed it after her last happy day of gardening. I share this shirt in memory of my wonderful mother, who gave so much to me as a daughter and to everyone and everything around her.


Robert Rourke – d. 1999 at 70 years old

Dad wasn't a big man and in his last years, he seemed to shrink more. With having Alzheimer's, routine was important, and he wore this jacket every day, all day long...I will always imagine him wearing it and when we meet again in spirit, I hope he is wearing it still, although the actual precious fabric is incorporated into this lovely memorial...I kept a button!


Donny Glasser – d. 2005 at 57 years old

Dear Donny...I remember how you used to love wearing your blue jeans…Two years have passed…I hold your jeans close to me and can still smell your scent and am still able to see you wearing them. I often wear your sweaters and feel your strength…I have a garden of beautiful memories, sprayed with a million tears.


Bob Cochrane – d. 2002 at 54 years old

This jacket was a fixture in Bob's wardrobe. I can picture him wearing it while raking leaves on a cool fall day or taking our son, Ben, for a walk in his carriage. When Bob started having problems with mobility…he required clothing that was easier to maneuver in...The jacket remained in the closet, a reminder of easier times...It is now time to part with Bob's Queen's jacket. I am glad that it will take on a new life.


Nathan Gesser – d. 1978 at 53 years old

On the bus ride returning from your funeral and visit with our family, I awoke from a nap and saw you standing in the aisle smiling down at me. I remember you were wearing your brown shirt and brown pants…I thought of your apparition often, it was my anchor, as I struggled through my grieving period...You will always be remembered with love.


James S. Drew – d. 2001 at 43 years old

Dear Jim...Right after you died, I found the strength to cut up many of your old clothes...for print shop rags - I think it was a sort of catharsis...a way of dealing with my anger at your unexpected loss...I saved many of your good shirts...I am giving this olive-green striped shirt…because it definitely reminds me of you. I remember you wearing this shirt while sitting in your studio and reading, waiting for me to get ready to go out somewhere…I know you would think this is a cool thing to do.


Diana Mackereth – d. 1983 at 41 years old

Most people, when they think of the loved one they lost, remember all the times and life events they shared. Since I lost my mother when I was five, I tend to think more along the lines of what I've missed. I wish my mother could have held my hand and walked me to the first day of school...I wish my mother could have consoled me when I got that perm...I wish my mother could have traveled the world with me, even if it was through my photos...The thing is, this list will get longer and longer...I already wish she could be here to see the children I will one day have.


Gavin Carton – d. 1998 at 27 years old

Gavin always wore ties, from the age of one. In every school picture from kindergarten to university graduation he has a tie on. At work he was noted for his smile and his many, many ties…We talk about him daily and our grandchildren talk about Uncle Gavin, even though two of them never met him. We miss him dearly.


Joshua Joseph Hughes – d. 1994 at 22 years old

I can't keep your possessions in that trunk anymore…Till this day, you are reflected in my mind as the most exciting, charming, charismatic, funny and clever person I ever knew…This sweatshirt is the one you wore that night. The one I gave you for Christmas that year. Your body was in it just hours before you left this earth. I slept with this sweatshirt for months after your death...I want you to know I am trying to say good-bye to you and find a safe place for our story...I carry you with me. We are attached.


Leah Ryan Eisenberg – d. 2006 at 21 years old

I chose these jeans from a basket of fifteen or so. I like that this pair is frayed; it tells me that Leah must have liked these too. She bought jeans like some people buy shoes…The bra and panties are my adult girl who liked lacy, pretty things…I bought this coat for Leah at The Gap. One of my favourite things to do was to shop together...After they'd taken Leah's body, I found a pair of her jeans on the bathroom floor. When my friend saw these she smiled and softly said, "They still have her shape to them."


Gregory Haffey – d. 1987 at 13 years old

Greg wore these pants with a pride that resembled that of a soldier in a moment of glory. The beloved pants became worn and faded but never discarded as he faced and endured and lost his greatest battle, his fight with a ravenous disease that ultimately took his life...Greg, our gentle warrior, had the makings of a great soldier. He show courage in the face of adversity...He left us all with a legacy of hope.