This story is part of Storytelling Sunday three- My Precious. Created by Sian over at From High in the Sky why not go over and read all the other stories AFTER you have read mine.
The beret still smells faintly of him. A mixture of engine oil and straw with just a faint hint of brylcreem. He and Mum came to live with us after Mum had a stroke. He didn't want to be here, he wanted to put himself between her and all the dangers of the world but he was struggling with his own physical weakness where his war injuries were finally taking their toll. He hated having to ask for anything so his last few years were hell. I didn't know he had kept the beret until after Mum died. They were living in a nursing home and Dad died in 2003. Mum amazed everyone by continuing to sit contentedly listening to audio books until 2006 when she faded away. Only then could I open the boxes of stuff that Dad had deemed essential. I still have some that I haven't opened yet but I am getting there. The beret was in the bottom drawer of his chest of drawers. I thought the chest contained clothes and such because it was in their bedroom and, well, that's what chests of drawers usually contain.
When I tugged at the drawer I first thought that it was locked until I realised that there wasn't a keyhole. Mr M was called and he gave a great heave on the handles and the drawer opened about six inches to reveal all my father's woodworking tools. Planes, chisels, screwdrivers, saws, you name it they were in there and tucked into the corner was his "housewife" a linen roll with pockets that contained needles and thread and scissors and small scraps of fabric and a couple of buttons - and the badge! The beret was underneath everything. I gave the tools to my eldest son to go with the lathe bequeathed to him by my Dad. I gave the box of car-related tools to my other son. The wooden bowls and plates he had made over the years went to my daughter. I kept the beret and the badge and since last year they have been kept in my special box.
Thank you for reading this. Now you really should pop over to Sian's Place and see what other delights await you