Charlotte is 2½, about to grow out of her dad’s favorite pair of overalls.
Cory Older is melancholy about it. Not because his youngest is getting so big. But because the overalls were a gift from his mother long after she died.
Susan Older had purchased the overalls for her friend Lori Schmidt’s new baby, Eric, in 1999. When Susan died in October of that year, and Eric grew out of the overalls, Lori put them away to save them for Susan’s two sons.
Cory was a sophomore at the University of Arizona when his mom died. His brother, Chad, was in law school.
Lori had been Susan’s friend for 13 years and coached her sons in swimming when they were young. She kept in touch over the years, and when Chad’s first child was due in 2007, Lori’s husband, David, delivered the overalls to their dad, Chic Older.
Chic took the overalls to Chad in Gaithersburg, Maryland, when Owen was born. When Chad’s daughter, Tessa, was born in 2010, she wore theoveralls too.
Chad brought the overalls to Cory in Austin, Texas, when Cory’s son, Hudson, was born in 2012. Hudson wore the overalls and Charlotte got them when she was born in 2017.
The sons wished they had held onto more of their mother’s things. Earrings maybe. Something that could be a family heirloom.
Susan, a teacher and speech therapist, was a great mom, and would have loved being a grandmother, her sons said.
The men are grateful to have something their mom touched, picked out and paid for.
“It’s a tangible connection to her,” Chad, 46, said.
They are grateful to Lori. “What great foresight on her part,” Cory, 40, said.
Charlotte has only a little time before the overalls are too small.
Chad and Cory recently decided they’ll put the overalls away for their children’s children, passing them to the next generation.
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