the sweater

The color made you think of walnuts, not too dark, not too light. It had big round buttons, like milk chocolates in a sea of cocoa powder. The neck was high and the pockets were deep. There were patches of fuzzy suede, and the yarn was just ever so slightly scratchy.

When I was a teenager I had a habit of swiping my father’s clothes. It was the 80s and both baggy clothes and menswear were in. Pop’s sweater smelled of Old Spice, was roomy and comfortable, and it matched my camouflage pants perfectly. (Hey, like I said, it was the 80s!) Of course I wore it to school so often there’s even a photo of me in it in my senior yearbook.

I was fourteen, fifteen, an age where you don’t hug your parents as much as you used to, when you’re trying to gain a little independence and become your own person. But that sweater, it was like wearing a hug. So was his gray plaid bathrobe I stole before I went off to college and wore until all the seams ripped out.

When I was eighteen and went out on my own I left some old tee shirts behind, the ones that I thought I was too old to wear. I came home on break once to find Pop wearing one – with a silly Garfield cartoon on it! We laughed so much that for years he wore it every time they were expecting me. When I think about that now I wonder if maybe to him that tee shirt was like a hug from me?

It didn’t take me too long into my 20s to realize that hugging your parents isn’t just for little kids and I started up again. Since then I’ve hugged and kissed them everytime I’ve seen them, which isn’t often enough. I sure wish I still had Pop’s sweater. I could really use a hug right now. I love you Pop. xoxo

Author’s note: My father passed away on December 4th, 2010, ten days after I wrote this. He never had a chance to read it. My mother, however, read it on December 5th and promptly found the Garfield shirt in my father’s closet and gave it back to me. My sister believes she swiped the sweater from me when we lived together in college and she wore it into rags.


5 Responses to “the sweater”

  1. Amira on November 25th, 2010 2:20 am

    This is a beautiful post and a great reminder. My sister and I used to hug and kiss our parents goodnight every single night and then, we just stopped at some point. I don’t even remember when or why, but it’s saddening. I hope Aiman never does that with me.

    I’m in a very huggy mood now.

    Again, I enjoyed this post 🙂

  2. Stimey on November 25th, 2010 11:56 am

    This is beautiful. It’s funny how certain things take on such meaning. It sounds like a great sweater.

  3. Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels on November 25th, 2010 2:08 pm

    I never stopped hugging my dad. Maybe because my mom was never really affectionate, or maybe because due to my moms miscarriages I remained an only child (albeit surrounded by cousins in our extended Italian family!), but I was always a daddy’s girl.

    And I clearly remember stealing some of his awesome polo shirts when I was in high school. My dad always dressed well 🙂

    What a wonderful post! I can certainly relate.

  4. beaglemum on November 26th, 2010 11:19 pm

    you mean that i was supposed to stop stealing his clothes at some point…? 🙂
    he still gets nervous if i go near his closet.

    still have my pepere’s sweater…

    thanks for reminding me to get one from dad, too!

  5. Caro on January 1st, 2011 10:19 pm

    yep, slayed me….. <3

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