"The Wedding Dress"

I remember so well how we all were sitting around the dining room
table that evening.  We were resting a few minutes and talking
about the arrangements for the sale.  It seemed like Mom should
still be there with us, that she should come walking into the room
with that familiar, cheerful airy whistling sound that wasn't
quite a whistle and yet there was a tune.  Mom always whistled
her own unique whistle whenever she was preoccupied
with what she was doing.

We comforted ourselves in the knowledge that Mom had lived
a long life of more than 84 years.  One of the things that  she loved
was to travel and she was very proud that she had been
in 49 of the 50 state in the U.S.A.  She had only recently made her
biggest trip to Alaska on a tour with her friend, Margaret.
I think she would have visited all 50 states except she had
not yet overcome her fear of water and of flying so that made
Hawaii a little difficult to visit.  She had outlived two husbands,
and many close relatives and friends, which calls for
a great inner strength which came from her Christian faith
of many years.  Most of all we remembered how
she had been a wonderful mother to my brother, Jerry, and I.

When you lose your last parent, there is something akin to
the feeling of being orphaned.  Even though I didn't live
close to Mom, I had the habit of picking up the phone
when I wanted to and giving her a call.  I would find myself
many times later thinking of a question, heading toward the phone,
and thinking, "I'll have to ask Mom about that".
Then reality strikes and then the pain of realizing
you can no longer make that phone call.

I guess I was sitting there at the dining room table feeling
a bit desolate that evening.  Everyone was talking about
which things went into the sale and which things we were keeping
in the family, when suddenly my eyes focused on
an old battered opened suitcase in the corner.  I jumped up as I said ,
"Where did that come from?".  Everyone just looked at me,
not quite understanding what was going on in my head
as there were all kinds of things laying around that we had been
going through, so what was the big deal about an old suitcase.
I went over and grabbed up the material that I saw laying there,
it was a dress, a very nice dress.  It was a dark navy blue
with tiny white polka dots and the material was
of excellent quality, even after all those years.  I felt my whole
body tremble and I must have been covered with goose bumps
because this was something special.  You see, I rememberedů
I was only four or five years old but I rememberedů..
.Mama said, "Pamy, this is my wedding dress."
"This is the dress I wore when I  married your Daddy."

I've wondered so many times since, where did that dress come from
and how did it get there in the dining room that night.  I only
remember seeing it that one time when Mom was cleaning a closet
when I was a little girl.  No one remembered putting it there
or seeing it there before and we had been going
through everything together.  However it got there, I do believe
it was there for a reason.  It brought those memories
back and somehow comforted me.

 I brought the dress home and had it cleaned.
Just recently, my daughter, Jeanna, had her engagement picture
taken wearing her Grandmother's wedding dress!
 I wonder if her Grandma is looking down and whistling a wedding tune.

By Pamela R. Blaine
c April 17, 2000

Joe & Jeanna (engagement picture)
                     Jeanna is wearing her Grandmother's wedding dress in the above picture.
Wedding Date:  July 1, 2000

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