This is my Uncle Walter. He wore this sweater every year for Christmas since my mom made it for him, some time in the 1960's. Apparently she made a matching one for my aunt, who didn't think it necessary to continue the tradition :) Yes, it really is that bright!
My uncle passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. It is amazing to me that at this time last year, he was making arrangements in case he didn't make it until last Christmas. He refused chemotherapy, and lived much longer than the doctors had given him even if he had taken the drugs. This is a testimony to his faith in God, and his will to live. He knew he didn't have long, and he wanted to have the best quality of life he could have, rather than spending it feeling sick from the chemo drugs.
Uncle Walter had strong opinions (probably a family trait :)) and always let you know what he thought. He also had a great sense of humor. I remember as a child being surprised by a "quack-quack" while shopping in a store. Yep, around the corner came Uncle Walter. Some of his favorite jokes - and gags - involved ducks, and most of the others involved noses!
When I was young, my grandmother would sometimes mix up people's names, which I've unfortunately found myself doing at times ( I have sadly been known to call the kids by the dog's name, and vice-versa). Her favorite "oops" name for me was Walter. She explained that I did things that reminded her of my uncle as a child. I only hope that I would still remind her of him as an adult.