This one is easy – I got the best gift ever just a few weeks ago. It was a late Christmas gift.
Do you want to see it? Here it is:
Pretty spectacular, isn’t it?
The lovely shade of…brown? The slightly discolored cuffs? The missing button?
I’m sure you would understand if you could smell it’s slightly musty scent.
Are you wondering if I’ve lost my mind?
Or am I so simple that a slightly ratty, smelly old crappy colored sweater really makes me happy?
Well, yes, and no.
As you may have guessed, there is a story behind this sweater…
My father gave it to me a few weeks ago when he, my aunt (his sister) and my daughter went to breakfast. We hadn’t seen my father over the holidays, so he brought our Christmas gifts to breakfast. Mine was in a (clearly) recycled gift bag.
My dad encouraged me to open my gift at the table, so I did.
Last year he gave us all flannel shirts to wear on a family camping trip, so when I began to pull the sweater out I thought this might be something similar.
But then, as I got the thing all the way out, I realized it looked hand-knitted. Huh. I thought. Who made this?
I held it up and asked my dad, “What’s the story behind this? Who made it?”
He looked a little stricken as he said, “Nora.”
I was speechless.
You see, Nora is my mom. She died almost eight years ago (8?!? how is that possible? #timeflies) and she and my dad split up when I was 2.
I just turned 50, so you do the math on how old this sweater is.
This sweater, a little musty, sure. A missing button, yes. But other than that, in perfect condition. Not moth-eaten. No holes.
This sweater made by my mom’s hands. Stitch by stitch. Or purl by purl or whatever the proper knitting terminology is.
But beyond that, my dad held on to that sweater for all those years.
By my memory, my dad has lived in at least 6 houses and with two wives since he and my mom split up. That sweater has to be at least 48 years old.
I had no idea he had it. Or was that sentimental.
He told me that when he pulled it out of the closet it was unbuttoned and that as he buttoned it up he began to cry.
I’ve left the sweater out since I brought it home and it smells less like old closet and more like love now.
Does it look like it too?
BTW, the featured image at the top of this post is me (duh) in the sweater, in front of a painting by my dad. ❤️