Can a sweater make you cry? Oh yes. Yes it can.
You may think that this is about the annual search for the ugliest Christmas sweater. It is not. This is about the lovely story of Loes Veenstra. Since 1955, she kept busy knitting over 500 sweaters, which she stored in her apartment.
A woman named Chris Meindertsma discovered the sweater collection. She wrote a book featuring the sweaters, which document many eras of sweater knitting. The sweaters will also be featured in a display about life in Rotterdam.
Yes. So why am I crying? It’s because of this video. At first glance, the video is a silly video with a lot of people wearing funny sweaters. There are many silly videos out there, so why did this one make me cry?
Because it’s an ode to someone who’s spent a part of their life doing something quietly.
Because it’s a celebration of an individual’s oddity.
Because it’s a celebration of something that we rarely celebrate: not an Olympic sprint, not a business success, but a whole lot of warm sweaters.
How many people do you know who do something like this? Quite possibly a lot.
There’s a man in my neighborhood who spends time every year making wooden toys for small children who can’t afford them.
There’s a woman at work who collects dozens of warm jackets for the homeless.
There are so many people in our communities doing small, wonderful, and uncelebrated acts.
When I go, I don’t need to be remembered for anything big. I’d like people to remember those small things that I did, the ones that we often forget to notice because they’re such a part of our home life. My parade would be about reading bedtime stories, playing with kids in the mud, and baking Christmas cookies.
What would your parade be about?
Photo: EmilyLaurel504 / CC by 2.0