Lisa with her mother’s sweaters, circa 1950s
This Thanksgiving I will be thinking of my mother, Claire, and all the wonderful things that she has passed on to me, preserving our love.
This story starts with a sweater. Recently, when I was spending time with my friend Lisa, I happened to be wearing the gray sweater that my mother had given me. Lisa asked me about it. It’s such a favorite that I was happy to tell its story. My mother was partial to this beloved sweater. Simple and classic, it has a self-made tie that wraps around the neck – truly unique. My mother had worn it and loved it for years, then passed it to me. This gray sweater has had a long life.
Our conversation reminded Lisa that she had a few sweaters that her mother had passed down to her. Amazing, because these particular sweaters were originally worn by her mother, Jean, 55 years ago when she was in her early 20’s. We pulled them out and gazed at them with great interest; they looked like the clothes we have seen in the films of the 1950s! Lisa said that she had worn them all at one time or another and that her daughter, Sarah, had also worn the sweater with the pink and green flowers when she was a sophomore in high school.
Intrigued, I asked Lisa if I could speak with her mother about the sweaters. Jean’s thoughts: “I had a little girl. I would have loved to pass anything to my little girl … It’s endearing. You want your daughters to have everything you had. I think most mothers think this way.” I, too, am my mother’s only daughter and I know that she feels the very same. Jean also told me that she gave Lisa two dolls that were given to her as a child when she was just five or six. She now has two granddaughters to pass these dolls to, and just like the dolls themselves, one of her granddaughters is blond – the other, brunette. I asked Jean if she played with her dolls when she was young. No, she wasn’t a doll person, but her mother loved the dolls and made all of their clothes.
Lisa has worn her sweaters as I have worn mine. We agree that they are dear to us. In a time when so many things are disposable, these loving keepsakes are forever.
What do you think?
Jean’s childhood dolls, passed down to Lisa and her two granddaughters