Why this Mama Kept her Son’s Jeans for 18 Years

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Its not every day I come across a Mama that makes me feel like we are kindred spirits just after a couple quick sentence exchanges online. This is one of those days. And I warn you, you may need tissue for this post…

I am in a Facebook group called At Home (thanks Kristyn!) and I love seeing the creative things people do to their homes and within their homes. As I was scrolling the feed, I came across Dani Marchus-Rexine’s post about her sons jeans. Not only did this inspire me to want to do the same, but I cried. Like a friggin’ BABY thinking about Gentry turning 18 and graduating high school. I hope Dani’s story will inspire you, my readers, to do the same or similar. The days are long… but the years are short.

The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
Image credit: Shannon Sewell

In Dani’s own words:

“I’ve tucked away one pair of jeans, for each of my four kiddos, from preschool-on to make them a quilt for college. It was almost surreal to pull out the first set, as my oldest graduates in a couple months! The finished product isn’t perfect, but it works out ok, because neither is the mom who made it, or the boy who once wore the jeans.

The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
One saved pair from preschool- 12th grade
The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
Front side
The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
Back side – made from sweaters, many belonging to my dad who passed last October.
The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
Riley- my senior. One of my best accomplishments.

For years I moved the tote of jeans from closet to closet. As the weight of the tote increased, so did the realization that the little boy, who taught me how to be a mom, was growing up. Sometimes the days seemed long, but the years were oh so short. Riley was also my dad’s first grandson. We lost my dad last October at the age of 66 after a 2 year battle with bladder cancer. He and my mom flew from ND for a visit, as my dad had never been able to see Riley play football. They flew in on Thursday, watched his game on Friday, dad was in the hospital on Sat, moved to our home for hospice on Tues and he passed on Wed. He was never able to return to home. We were all with him when he passed. Sweaters are not usually used to quilt, but the sweaters on the back belonged to my dad. The quilt has so much meaning. Riley growing into a wonderful young man, years of memories and his grandpa’s presence at graduation. (Side note- the game after Dad passed, Riley ran in two touchdowns, and was featured on two different news channels. We have them recorded. When he crossed into the end zone, he pointed to my daddy in heaven.) Ok- now my eyes are ‘sweating’.

The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
My dad’s first and last football game. We had no way to know he would pass in a few short days.
The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
Riley in a pair of jeans with his best friend- grandpa D.
The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
Riley as a baby guy.

It was going to be a surprise, however rugby practice got out early and try as I might, I couldn’t shove it up my shirt or behind my back. He recognized the pockets and red squares of “skinny” jeans he wore in the 7th grade. He had no idea I’d been saving his jeans. When I explained what it was, we both got emotional.”

The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine

The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine

The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
Might be cheesy, and heaven knows, I’ve seen better days, but he [Riley] is wearing a pair that is in the quilt and I have each pair that Kierstyn and Julia are wearing.
The Sentimental Mama Jeans for 18 Years - Dani Marchus-Rexine
Image credit: Shannon Sewell

Thank you for sharing your story with me Dani! Every time I save a pair of Gentry’s jeans in his keepsake box, your memory will be placed there too! I look forward to seeing your future blankets! If you would like to connect with Dani, you can email her at jdrexine[at]comcast.net.

Do you have a sentimental story? I’d love to hear about it! Email me SayHello[at]TheSentimentalMama.com

xoxo,

The Sentimental Mama

Brianne Geiger