When I was a young lad my father would always complain about back problems which had started at his work. Apparently at his job he had been sitting for long periods of time and while sitting he moved to one side and there was a twitch in his back. It locked up on him and he fell out of the chair and ended up on the floor in the fetal position. From this point he was hauled away in an ambulance and at the hospital he was in traction for a about a week and has had back problems ever since.
I remember when I was little punk and wrestling with him and I would grab on to something that was around his waist. At the time I didn't know what it was, so one day I decided to ask him. He told me it was a back support belt that the doctor had given him and he was directed to wear it all the time. It all made sense back then, but I was also only six years old and believed everything that everyone told me. In a way being a child is great because you don't fully grasp reality; you believe in Santa Claus, ghosts and the Easter Bunny and never give it another thought.
As I got older I would watch my dad work in the yard and lift heavy things and noticed that there didn't seem to be anything wrong with his back. I asked him again why he was wearing the belt when he didn't seem to need it. He answered that he had worn it for so long that it was a part of him and his back was used to it and to take it off now could be devastating to him. It made sense but I was still suspicious. My dad was always a very secretive dude.
Then one day he was taking a shower downstairs and he had left the door open more than usual because he didn't want the mirrors in the washroom to fog up. I crept up on the door and looked inside. On the hamper by the shower was a clump of clothes and on top of the clothes was his back support. After nearly a decade I had finally seen it for the first time. It was white and made out of some sort of cloth, but it was definitely thick enough for back support. It also had a velcro strip to keep it in place around his waist. This wasn't a back support belt you could buy at a store.
I decided to ask my mom about it and see what she had to say. I waited for the right time to ask her about the belt and when I did she acted all strange. She said that it was a weird question and that she had made the back support for my father because he had sensitive skin and the back support belts in the stores were hard, itchy and made from cheap materials that gave him hives and rashes. It seemed like a rational explanation and I never thought about the back support belt again until my father passed away at the age of 101.
My mother was no longer around at the time of my father's death. All that was left was me and my sister. We went to our father's funeral and then awaited to see what was left for us in the inheritance. A couple of months after his death I was called by my lawyer who wanted to see me and my sister to discuss the distribution of his assets.
We sat eagerly as we waited in the lawyer's office. He entered the room and sat down and took his God damn time to read that my sister was going to get the house, car and some small investments. He then passed me a box. I opened it and inside was my father's back support belt. I laughed. My father must have really hated me and thought I was a garbage son to leave me a back support belt. He loved that belt so damn much that I thought he would be buried in it.
At home I sat down in my room and looked at the box with the back support belt. I then opened it and took out the belt and wrapped it around my waist. I noticed it was ridiculously heavy for a back support. What a joke. My sister got everything. I decided to take the support off because I didn't have a back problem and I noticed how uncomfortable and lumpy the support was from nearly seventy years of use. I didn't know how he wore the damn thing for all those years.
I threw it on the floor and it made a heavy thunking noise. I picked it back up and noticed little zippers all around the inside of the belt. I unzipped one of them and stuck my fingers inside the gap and pulled out something tightly wrapped in tin foil.
I unfolded the foil and inside were hundreds of 1000 dollar bills. I tore the belt apart and when I completed counting all the 1000 dollar bills there was over a millon dollars in cash.
I guess I wasn't such a bad son after all.