I’m a sentimental fool.
This is no more evident to me than at this time of year, the longing for days and people long gone and the excitement of the days, years and people yet to arrive are muddled together in a wish for home comforts which bring back memory after memory.
I left home with only a backpack, because of this I have little to no items from my childhood, and so, over the years I’ve tried to collect items which, whilst not the same, are as near to the original as possible, this year I ticked two items off that list.
The Cable Knit Sweater
My dad had a cream cable knit jumper. It was huge, just like him. It always carried the faint hint of woods, Old Spice and coffee, a random yet comforting blend that was distinctly my dad. I’d wear it whenever I got the chance, it felt a like a hug when he wasn’t around.
In the shock and befuddlement after my father passed away, I forgot to ask for the sweater, I thought it would just be there, slung over a chair or hanging in a wardrobe. I was and still am devastated when my sister threw it away. A part of me will always resent her for discarding my dads things like yesterdays rubbish, in some of my darkest days, when a girl really needs her dad, I felt like that sweater would have solved everything. I know it wouldn’t have, but it wouldn’t have hurt.
I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement sweater for years, but they’ve never been right. The other week I finally got my very own cable knit sweater, it isn’t the same, it’s the wrong colour for a start, yet it just feels right. Whilst a part of me will always miss that cream cable knit sweater that was like a hug from my dad, I’m glad to finally have my very own, the pup seems to agree.
I remember the evening my dad came home from work in giddy excitement, he was a Christmas nut, just like me. He had 3 or 4 refuse sacks bulging with festive greenery, it was stems of holly entwined with red berries and fake snow, it was tacky Christmas awesomeness.
Every year we’d string it around the living room and hallways listening to Christmassy songs whilst the ladder wobbled and pin tacks refused to push in to the walls and ceiling.
It’s another thing that disappeared after my father died. Another thing I’ve missed, over the years I’ve looked for a replacement, but just like the sweater, they’ve never been right.
This summer, as the boys and I were about to go for a walk around the lake I noticed a florist was closing down, so in we popped. And there it was, tucked under a display in wooden crate was my festive greenery, giddy as a kid I walked home in the summer heat with my refuse sack full of Christmas.
It’s a slow process, rebuilding memories, it has to be done right so as not to diminish what they represent. There are other things which as I grow older I feel the need to replace, not in the hopes of reliving the past, I realise that is long gone and it’s time to build upon those rather than try to replicate them entirely.
So, whilst my sentimental foolish side is glad to have a few items which remind me of my childhood, I look forward to building on those with my own children.