Mary Lynch’s dad loved nice things, but with 11 children to send to college, he couldn’t afford to buy expensive items for himself. So with one of her first real paychecks, Lynch bought her father a cardigan sweater from Jacob Reed’s Sons, an upscale men’s store in Philadelphia. She was 18.
Her dad was thrilled, and he treasured the gift for 50 years. He wore it on special occasions - birthdays, Sunday dinners, graduation parties - even though he had newer ones in his closet. After each occasion, he’d fold the garment carefully and return it to its place in a drawer.
Lynch’s dad died in January at age 90.
"All my brothers and sisters knew ‘the sweater,’ so there was no question who would inherit it," says Lynch, who lives in Virginia Beach.
The gift she bought her father years ago will always be special to her, she says.
"It represents a grateful man, a humble man, and the love between a father and daughter."
Read what else people have kept for sentimental value