This came through my email today and had to share.  Unknown author.


The yellow shirt had long sleeves, four extra-large pockets trimmed in

black thread and snaps up the front.

It was faded from years of wear, but still in decent shape.

I found it in 1963 when I was home from

college on Christmas break, rummaging through bags of clothes Mom

intended to give away.


‘You’re not taking that old thing, are you?’ Mom said when she saw

me packing the yellow shirt. ‘I wore that when I was pregnant with

your brother in 1954!’

yellow shirt

‘It’s just the thing to wear over my clothes during art class, Mom.

Thanks!’ I slipped it into my suitcase before she could object.

The yellow shirt became a part of my college wardrobe. I loved it.


After graduation, I wore the shirt the day I moved into my new

apartment and on Saturday mornings when I cleaned.


The next year, I married. When I became pregnant, I wore the yellow

shirt during big-belly days. I missed Mom and the rest of my family,

since we were in Colorado and they were in Illinois… But, that shirt

helped. I smiled, remembering that Mother had worn it when she was

pregnant, 25 years earlier.


That Christmas, mindful of the warm feelings the shirt had given

me, I patched one elbow, wrapped it in holiday paper and sent it to Mom.

When Mom wrote to thank me for her ‘real’ gifts, she said the

yellow shirt was lovely. She never mentioned it again.


The next year, my husband, daughter and I stopped at Mom and Dad’s

to pick up some furniture. Days later, when we un-crated the kitchen

table, I noticed something yellow taped to its bottom. The shirt!


And so the pattern was set.


On our next visit home, I secretly placed the shirt under Mom and Dad’s

mattress I don’t know how long it took for her to find it, but almost

two years passed before I discovered it under the base of our

living-room floor lamp. The yellow shirt was just what I needed

now while refinishing furniture. The walnut stains added character.


In 1975 my husband and I divorced. With my three children, I prepared

to move back to Illinois … As I packed, a deep depression overtook

me. I wondered if I could make it on my own. I wondered if I would

find a job. I paged through the Bible, looking for comfort. In

Ephesians, I read, ‘so use every piece of God’s armor to resist the

enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will be standing up.’


I tried to picture myself wearing God’s armor, but all I saw was the

stained yellow shirt. Slowly, it dawned on me.. Wasn’t my mother’s

love a piece of God’s armor? My courage was renewed.


Unpacking in our new home, I knew I had to get the shirt back to

Mother. The next time I visited her, I tucked it in her bottom dresser drawer


Meanwhile, I found a good job at a radio station. A year later I

discovered the yellow shirt hidden in a rag-bag in my cleaning closet.


Something new had been added. Embroidered in bright green across

the breast pocket were the words ‘I BELONG TO PAT.’


Not to be outdone, I got out my own embroidery materials and added

an apostrophe and seven more letters.


Now the shirt proudly proclaimed, ‘I BELONG TO PAT’S MOTHER.’ But

I didn’t stop there. I zig – zagged all the frayed seams, then had a

friend mail the shirt in a fancy box to Mom from Arlington, VA.

We enclosed an official looking letter from ‘The Institute for the

Destitute,’ announcing that she was the recipient of an award for

good deeds.


I would have given anything to see Mom’s face when she opened the box.

But, of course, she never mentioned it.


Two years later, in 1978, I remarried. The day of our wedding,

Harold and I put our car in a friend’s garage to avoid practical jokers.

After the wedding, while my husband drove us to our honeymoon suite, I

reached for a pillow in the car to rest my head. It felt lumpy. I

unzipped the case and found, wrapped in wedding paper, the yellow

shirt. Inside a pocket was a note: ‘Read John 14:27-29. I love

you both, Mother.’


That night I paged through the Bible in a hotel room and found the

verses: ‘I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the

peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t

be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but

I will come back to you again. If you really love me, you will be very

happy for me, for now I can go to the Father, who is greater than I

am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when

they do, you will believe in me.’


The shirt was Mother’s final gift.

She had known for three months that

she had terminal Lou Gehrig’s disease. Mother died the following year at age 57.


I was tempted to send the yellow shirt with her to her grave. But

I’m glad I didn’t, because it is a vivid reminder of the love-filled game

she and I played for 16 years. Besides, my older daughter is in

college now, majoring in art. And every art student needs a baggy

yellow shirt with big pockets.



Now, here’s the FUN part! Start your own tradition!
I hope you enjoyed this and can have some fun yourself.  If you have a blog where you can post anything and call it your business, please repost, if not there is no stopping you.   Look me up and I can set you up.


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