My Grandfather Shirt

It was 1986; the old homestead was still standing strong, although no one had lived there for over a decade. It was home to my Grandfather who had passed away many years before. The wood-paneled front door that was once painted white had started to chip and weather.

As I turned the lock and pushed the door open, dust particles flew against me, the air was stale and thick. As I entered, my eyes opened wide with delight. The old stove was still there in the centre of the open fireplace as it always stood. His old black grandfather clock was hanging in the corner over the shelf where the wireless set used to sit. As I walked around the old kitchen I remembered times past, of stories my Grandfather told whilst sitting by the fire, those were the days!

I went down the hall and hesitantly pushed against the closed door; it opened with a low moan. Inside, the small rectangular room was all but bare apart from an old bed frame and a large trunk, ‘treasure’ I thought! Excitedly I unbuckled the leather straps.

In the trunk were several shirts, some were his ‘Sunday Best’. There was one shirt, in particular, I recognised immediately as it was his favourite shirt. It had been worn to the bare thread and was cream with a faint blue stripe, it was made of cotton flannel and had four buttons on a half placket down the front. The shirt was collarless - but that’s the way he liked to wear it. I remembered fondly that he loved this shirt, “met my wife wearing this shirt” and “'they' don’t make 'them' like this anymore” he’d say thoughtfully. My Grandfather’s shirt, now there is a thought...