Friday, January 4, 2008

Diabetic Sweater

Also known as the Green Man Sweater, and requiring some explanation: When I was 23, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This is a longer story that I will be happy to expand on if anyone is interested. Suffice it to say, I was duly hospitalized when the diagnoses was confirmed, at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton, MA (it happened to be across the street from my apartment at the time). My mom, an amazing nurse (she still gets holiday cards from patients she treated decades ago), came down from New Hampshire, and my dad, an amazing photographer, came up from Philly to be with me during my hospital stay and transition back to an altered "normal" life. Now, my dad is constitutionally incapable of not bringing lottery cards to any celebratory or comforting family gathering of more than two people, and even in my weakened state I could hold a penny to scratch them off. At the time, my favorite Boston area shop was Leila, on Comm Ave. in Brookline (now sadly gone), and they had a sweater I had fallen in love with that, at $180, was far out of range for my out-of-college job self. Well, I won exactly $180 from the lottery cards, so once I was out of the hospital, I bought myself that sweater. I still have it and love it, and every time I wear it I'm reminded how lucky I am to have the family I've got to support me through whatever crap life throws my way. Friday, Jan. 4
  • Diabetic/Green Man sweater coat - it is a wool and acrylic nubby knit, mostly moss and fir green with shades of teal and greeny-gold. It falls to mid-thigh on me, has two big patch pockets in front, and five large, pearly, dark green buttons. The shawl collar and cuffs are dense with long, fringe-y loops of the nubby yarn. Green is traditionally the color of magic, and this sweater certainly is. And if I button it up over brown pants, I look like a small tree!
  • Dark blue trouser-cut Trina Turk jeans;
  • Brown cotton tweed socks from Target kids;
  • Burgundy/brown Indigo by Clarks shoes with an odd squashed-Louis heel, whip-stitched seams and ankle straps. For years I only bought boots or sandals, as I have very small feet with very narrow heels, so shoes that are both grown-up looking and stay on my feet are hard to find. If the back isn't open, or my foot secured by a boot shaft, I pretty much need an ankle or mary-jane strap to keep heels on my feet!
  • Self-made ammonite necklace on silver-clasped, copper leather cord and 40's brass jewelry chain - this got almost constant wear this summer and I feel another round of wear coming on;
  • Silver ring set with large oval cabochon of blue labradorite, bought at a silver shop in Rome during my second semester abroad in Italy (thank you, Temple University!)

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