A good new suit has the pockets sewn shut. Some men prefer it that way. But not my uncle. He wanted to be able to put his hands in his pockets. It was a below freezing day in January, I don't blame him.
"Leigha, do you have scissors or something?" He asked me, both of standing uncomfortably close in my parents' crowded kitchen. My mother, aunts, and cousins, all dressed in black, huddled around the kitchen table. Making small talk. No one sure what to say. Me, now searching for a pair of scissors, grateful for something to do. Found the scissors and went back to my uncle.
"Here let me help you." I said as I slowly, carefully began to cut the thread that held his pockets together. They didn't want to come apart easily. A task that should have taken only a few seconds if we had the proper tool (ie, a seam ripper) was taking quite a few minutes. But it was okay, we had plenty of time. No one was in a rush to leave. Maybe if we didn't go, this wouldn't be happening. I don't know if anyone else was thinking that on some level, but I was. It got quiet, as I noticed everyone stopped their conversations and were now just watching me work. Carefully cutting each string. Their eyes made me nervous. So I started talking.
"You know this will probably be the one thing I remember from this day. Cutting these pockets. It's those random things you always remember, right?" And we kind of laughed.
And then I was done, and he happily put his hands in his now free pockets. And I thought,it seemed like such an intimate thing to do. Something a wife would do. Certainly not something a niece, you only see twice a year would do. What situation would call for such circumstances? I can think of only one, my brother's funeral.