Friday, March 7, 2008

Theme Week: Flashback Friday

This is my "ugly sweater". You may have seen me wear it before. It is very accommodating - I can wear it all the time, pregnant or not (as seen in above photo, taken this morning by Allen). I wonder if people who see me wearing this ask themselves - "Why?" Here's the deal:

This was my Dad's sweater.

When Dad died, this was the only thing of his that I really wanted to have. I have fond memories of his wearing this sweater from the time I was young until the very end of his life. It brings back thoughts of Thanksgiving dinners at Aunt Jan's (who, legend has it, made the sweater for him), snow storms in Iowa and cold mornings in East Carbon. But it mostly reminds me of dancing with Dad.

As a little girl I would stand on his feet and he would dance around the room with me - music or not. As a teenager we would get crazy dancing to the latest Pet Shop Boys or U2 song as the music video played in the background on MTV. And near the end of his life, as I was helping to care for him, I would take his hands and help him stand from the kitchen table and walk, he forwards and I backwards, face-to-face, to the couch. As we moved towards the couch like this, he would occasionally stop. I would look at him to see what was the matter, and he would get a twinkle in his eyes and start to sway our hands back and forth then slowly move his feet up and down, still wanting to dance. Oh, how I miss dancing with Dad.

Yesterday as I was driving around town getting groceries, this song by Luther Vandross came on the radio. I have heard it before, but as it reached the chorus it was especially difficult to hold back tears:

If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him
I'd play a song that would never, ever end
How I'd love, love, love
To dance with my father again.

(Uncle Roy, Dad sporting the sweater, and Aunt Charlotte)

So now if you see me wearing my ugly sweater, you'll understand - there's so much more involved than just warmth and fashion.

8 comments:

Shellie said...

Tag! You're it. Details on my blog. I understand about the sweater, I have a ring like that. Love the song too.

Pam said...

Know exactly what you mean. I have a few sweaters that I permanently "borrowed" from my dad when I moved out. They are just right!

Teachinfourth said...

All I can say is...whoa.

I am so glad that you have something you can physically touch to remind you of your father. I can imagine that wearing it is like having him hold you too. I'm also glad that he was the type of father that a daughter would miss after he was gone.

Sometimes, it helps to have something to hold on to.

{cari} said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing. Isn't it funny how songs can affect us?

Cami said...

Wow! What a great story. I love the sentiment behind the sweater. I imagine that everytime you put it on, you remember everything associated with that sweater.

There's nothing better than a hug from your dad. Wearing that sweater probably feels like just that, a hug from you dad.

Boyd and Sarise said...

I have one of my grandpa's sweaters. I love it! Wearing it gives the same nice, warm, cozy feeling that sitting by a fireplace drinking hot chocolate gives. That feeling that nomatter what, everything's going to be alright.

annette said...

What a great song AND video! It really says a lot about your dad, esp. knowing he was deaf. I imagine after this life you will get to dance with him once again, and he will hear the melody. It will be amazing.

I had forgotten how much I too love to dance w/my dad. When we were kids, my M&D took disco lessons. They would come home and teach my bro. and I what they learned. We loved it! Truly great times. To this day, I love to dance.

Michelle said...

Isn't great that simple things bring back memories. I was just thinking the other day about my grandma. Just like the sweater brings memories of your dad, tin cups (you know the purple tin drinking cups) remind me so much of my grandma.