When I got up in the morning, I put on my wife’s new cotton jacket and a wide down jacket and walked to work. After snowing, the road surface was icy and smooth, so I slowed down along the way and walked carefully, stepping on the not too thick snow, without feeling how cold.

The new cotton jacket was made by the wife after work in the evening. The jacket has long been bought from the market, and some time ago my mother-in-law gave me a large bag of new cotton wool, and my wife planned to make me a cotton jacket to protect me from the cold. The wife is very busy at work in the community outpatient clinic, and usually has little contact with needlework and basically does not do it. She said half-jokingly: “It’s cold, experiment with you, learn to make a cotton jacket, this is my “debut”, you are also a half-hundred people no longer young is better, just wear it warm on your body.” “I said this is fine, thank you for your care. I haven’t worn a handmade cotton jacket for many years, my mother and grandmother made it for me when I was a child, and after I started a family, my mother-in-law and mother-in-law teamed up to make me a cotton jacket and cotton pants. The most important and loving women in my life have sewed love into the dense stitches in the needle thread, which still warms my body and mind. Unfortunately, my grandmother and mother have left me, but fortunately, my old mother-in-law and mother-in-law are still alive, and although they are older, they still protect my family and the safety of my children and grandchildren.

With a pair of hands that prescribe and inject infusions, his wife is able to skillfully cope with the daily work of the outpatient clinic. Sometimes when there are many infusion patients, she and her colleagues will first prescribe the first bottle of medicine to each patient, settle everyone well, and then follow the doctor’s instructions to busy dispensing the remaining treatment drugs for each patient. Now my wife has taken over the baton of care, and she has worked tirelessly to make a cotton jacket for me after work, although the matter is small, it is enough to make me feel the great power of love in the coldest three or nine days. The wife is a quick and diligent person in her work life, and she can do what she says. The cotton jacket was sewn up with a needle, and my wife asked me to try it on, and saw that there were several stitches in the armpits and cuffs that were not very good, and she took them apart and re-sewed them, and accidentally pricked by the needle tip and oozed blood from her fingers. It is common for a wife’s fingers to be scratched by a glass medicine bottle at work, and she uses adhesive tape or band-aids to glue it even if it is finished, and she does not care about these small abrasions. Holding my wife’s fingers with adhesive tape, the back of my hands began to appear dot-like stains, and the hands that were no longer smooth and delicate and soft stung my heart under the night light. Quickly get up and pour her a cup of hot water, prepare the ingredients for tomorrow’s breakfast, get up early on time to cook and stir-fry, and care for each other in a porridge and a meal, what else can I do for my dear ones? The days slipped away quietly in the dull, taking away our youth, the trivialities in firewood, rice, oil and salt have a place in the heart, and each other has a healthy body, such a middle-aged life is worth having.

I took out the cotton jacket from the closet, the dark yellow checked stripes reflected in the light, although it was not as attractive as the soft down jacket, but it was comfortable to warm the waist and back, and my wife’s cotton jacket “debut” was successfully delivered. I will always wear it this winter, and with the love and warmth of my wife, I will work harder, take care of my family, and welcome the arrival of the Year of the Tiger together.

Author: Wang Weidong, member of Binzhou Writers Association, employee of Zouping Yuanhua Flour Co., Ltd. The articles have appeared in newspapers and periodicals such as Grain and Oil Market News, Qilu Evening News, Shandong Business News, Binzhou Daily, Yangzhou Evening News and online WeChat platforms.

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