Growing up, I can remember us kids drawing up a list of the gifts we were going to get my Mom and Dad for Christmas.
We would have to work carefully with our money to make sure we could get them everything on the list. Coming up with ideas for gifts for my Mom wasn’t easy, we would take forever to think of something. We always ended up getting her favourite perfume. My Mom being the sport that she is, always acted surprised – she also always smelt amazing!
Dads were easier back then – and cheaper. Either he would get the Old Spice Christmas hamper pack, the one that included the Soap-on-a-Rope, or he would get a triple-pack of handkerchiefs, with his initials embroidered in one corner. My father would always make a big fuss over the gift’s we gave him. He made us feel special for being the giver through how graciously he received.
My Dad always carried an initialed handkerchief in his jacket pocket – ironed and folded. I can’t ever remember him not having a hanky in his pocket. A hanky, a roll of Wilson’s XXX Mints, and a pocket knife. There were many thorns and splinters removed using the tip of his pocket knife like a skilled surgeon. My Dad shaved ever day – even if he wasn’t going anywhere. His hair was always neatly combed with a little Brylcreem, and his moustache meticulously trimmed and shaped.
As debonair as my Dad was, I remember his compassion. The real reason he always carried a handkerchief was for the rare moments someone else needed one. Whether it was a damsel in distress – he was quite the ladies’ man – or a crying child, my Dad was able to offer something more than a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen.
He showed that he cared.
Although carrying a handkerchief is not as popular today as it was years ago, caring will hopefully never go out of fashion.