My new jumper isn’t new. Technically speaking it’s not even a jumper, more like a waistcoat, or top. It’s made of real wool and it’s gloriously warm, but what makes it so special is the story of how I came to have it.
It was hand knitted for Mum by my sister, Anuk, and for years I’d admired its vibrant reds, pinks and purples, with the occasional dash of blue and bands of navy. The colours suited Mum, they echoed the warmth of her personality, just as the jumper itself kept her warm. Not that she wore it that often as, thanks to her Froogling–browsing charity shops for bargains− she had lots of jumpers, cardigans and gilets to choose from and this one didn’t get worn that often. To be honest, I had forgotten about it, until Mum died and we had to clear out her flat.
Because of the virus, only two people were allowed in and because they were in Bristol regularly, my brother and sister-in-law volunteered. Under normal circumstances we’d have all been there together to decide who was to have what from among Mum’s possessions and Louise was very anxious to make sure that none of us missed out. She asked for a list from each of us, including the grandchildren, then organised the packing and sending out of what we had asked for. In days before the flat was emptied, she rang, or texted or made suggestions about anything else we might want.
It is thanks to Louise, that I have my new jumper. She put together a selection of Mum’s clothes for me that she thought I might like and when they arrived the jumper was among them.
Wearing it now, as I type, I am reminded not only of my lovely mum, but also of my sister and my sister-in-law. I can’t see them, or be with them, but the jumper is like having the hug I am missing so much.