Love and a Sweater

Sandra Wiley, Darien Sport Shop, Sandy Carlson, Sandy Lee Carlson
On Mom's 16th Christmas, her parents gave her a black wool ski sweater from the Darien Sport Shop. It was a big purchase and a treasured gift; Mom wore it in a portrait she made of her self for her grandmother.  The photo stood in the front window of Park Lane for as long as my Gram was alive; then, it came home with Mom.  Now it hangs in my home--where the black sweater also has a safe place. 

Shortly after Mom passed last November, Dad took me to her closet and told me to take her sweaters.  There were sixty of them; it took a while.  It was hard.  Dad watched as I took down and packed up his gifts to her over so many Christmases.  There were Aran sweaters, turtlenecks, Icelandics, cashmere cardigans, pullovers.  And then some.  There were long 90's-style tunics, boxy 80s pullovers, and patterned winter sweaters.

Sandy Carlson, Sandy Lee Carlson, Sandra Isbell Wiley Carlson
There was also the black sweater that Mom kept with her for 62 years.  I wore it to school a few times when I was in high school.  I felt no drafts those days.  When I got the sweaters home last November, I folded them up and put them by for safe keeping.  When I shook open the treasure from the
sports store, a little note fell out apprising the reader that the sweater was a gift to Mom from her parents on her 16th Christmas.  I knew that, but she told me anyway.  I wore it to work today.  Again, no drafts.  I felt the warmth of Mom's love and her parents' love.  I am grateful for that Yankee frugality that values the staying power of well-made things and the respect that knows genuine love when it sees it.