Monday, February 18, 2008

The sweater

When I was a kid, my mom had this sweater that she used to wear around the house. Nothing special, just an oversized ivory cardigan with brown buttons and two pockets. But she wore it almost every day.

It was from Bamberger's. I know this, because, the other day, I found it, on the floor of her closet, tucked in a corner. It was dirty, one of the buttons was loose, and one of the pockets was torn.

I took the sweater -- not in a surreptitious way, unlike, say, how I acquired my dad's army jacket. Instead, I walked out of the closet holding the dirty old thing and boldly announced to my father and my sister and my brother that, if no one had any objections, I was taking it.

My dad and brother looked at me as if I were crazy. My sister asked to see the sweater and, after I handed it to her, she held it for a minute or two, quietly inspecting it. Equally quietly, she announced that it was torn, and folded it up and put it on the couch next to her. When she left to go back to her house for the evening, the sweater was still there.

Leaving it like that was clearly an act of consent.

Last night, upon arriving home, I washed the sweater and then sat on the couch, mending it. It made me feel just a little closer -- a little better.


mad said...

When my dad died, I inherited most of his ties. I hung on to them for a long time, thinking maybe that 50s look might come back. It never quite did, though.

E :) said...

I completely understand where you're coming from. I've still got a few coats and other pieces of clothing from when my grandmother (with whom I was very close as a small child) died over 20 years ago. I too repaired them by hand. It has helped me to accept the fact that she also died too young.