Monday, November 25, 2019

91. Letting go

I don't eliminate anything lightly—especially gifts from family and loved ones. Almost superstitious about not keeping presents, however non-me they may be, I hang onto things for years until I can justify passing them along.

So, I kept a sweater from my late mother and still0-with-us brother that is not my style and was never my style. Why? Not only was it a gift, but also my mother and brother were so proud of themselves, delightedly noting that the sweater was "Vintage" (it says so on the label). The sweater did not become vintage—that is, it isn't like a number of mother's beautiful cashmere sweaters from 50 years ago—rather, it was designed as vintage, with fake spots and stains as part of the design. Warm, cozy, and comfy, the sweater felt good. BUT, its pattern was made from repeated sailboats and lighthouses. It was a state of Maine version of a Christmas sweater.

Still, I couldn't bring myself to jettison it.

In 2011, when my mother book her hip, I brought the sweater from New York to Portland, Maine so she'd have something warm and cozy around her shoulders. It served an important purpose. After that, I wore the sweater around the house a few times, but even indoors with only my husband to see me, it wasn't me.

Finally, yesterday, while trying to eliminate unneeded items and organizing donations for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, I decided to donate the perfectly-warm sweater, which is in perfect shape, and which has nothing wrong with it (not even real stains or rips)—except for the fact that I don't wear it. So, into the donation box it went.

Of course, I still have many true vintage items from my mother, including a few of her exquisite sweaters and, it seems, her wedding night lingerie. Now, the latter will be hard to donate.

(Originally slated for October 10, 2019; posted November 25)

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