For my birthday this past year I got a brand new Coach wallet from my fiance.   Now, before I met my fiance I was used to being called Coach as I coached a baseball team for four years, not having it as a personal accessory.   I have come to learn that has great quality merchandise and this wallet looked like it was made of the finest brown leather.   My current wallet I have had for about 11 years and people have been telling me for years to get a new one.   But you know what, I didn’t want the new wallet.

Now, before everybody thinks I am rude and an insensitive gift receiver let me explain.   My wallet that I currently have is a black trifold that I got in March 1998.   I didn’t pay a dime for it but the sentimental value of that lives on forever.   That black trifold wallet was my grandfather’s wallet and I had asked my grandmother if I could use it as my own right before he died in 1998 of cancer.   I was so close to my Grandpa that I wanted something, anything, as a daily rememberance of him.   I settled on the wallet.    I asked my Grandma if I could have it and she said yes.   This way, he would always be close to me, in my pocket.

The wallet is absolutely in shreds now.   It has holes in it, the plastic protector for your license is long gone, it has been through sand, water, and mud and yet it perserveres through all of these conditions and the normal grind of a day.   That perserverance of that wallet is an important lesson to all of us that with anything in life, including the loss of a loved one, there is an appropriate time to hold on to memories while perservering through the daily challenges that life has to offer.   You want to hold on to that memory of a loved one, because of all the good things that it meant in your life.   My wallet is my symbol of my Grandpa, who was my buddy, but any symbol will do.   Everybody has that special symbol that they use that reminds themselves and the rest of the world that this was truly a special relationship in my life both in the past and in the future.

That Coach wallet is still sitting in the beautiful box it came in.   I do like it, but that doesn’t mean I am ready to replace my wallet with a new one.   In a sense I feel like I would be letting Grandpa go, and I am just not ready to do that yet, 11 years later.   It is still a reminder to me that I always have a true friend in my Grandpa.

I would love to hear your special symbols that remind you of the loss of your loved one.   Please add comments at the end of this post.

Always a friend to listen,

Eric Tomei-author I Miss My Dad…

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Eric Tomei

Eric Tomei is a physical therapist residing in the metro Detroit area. He has a B.A. in Psychology, a B.S. in Health Sciences and a masters degree in physical therapy from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. I Miss My Dad…is his first book with the hopes of uniting everyone who has lost a Dad or loved one to share their stories. His mission is to let people know that they are not alone in dealing with the loss of a loved one and you will always have a friend to talk to. He has a passion for charity work as 15% of each book sold will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. His goal is to raise $1 million for this charity through donations and the sale of I Miss My Dad… Eric appeared on the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart with hosts Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, to discuss Father’s Day Without a Father. To listen to this show, go to the following link:

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