I was not a girl who dreamed about her wedding. Maybe because I spent much of my young life as a wallflower and the notion of finding a husband when I couldn’t even find a date was beyond me!
My thinking didn’t suddenly erupt into visions of invitations and lace and flying rice when I met my husband. Except for one small thing: I knew what I’d be wearing.
I am the most sentimental NON-sentimental person you might ever meet. Pragmatic and realistic, not dreamy and misty-eyed. But when it comes to family heirlooms, I feel a connection. Something about them stirs me. I find them filled with meaning.
When I got engaged, the way I told my parents was to inquire as to the whereabouts of my mom’s wedding gown. I knew I wanted to wear her dress.
So, after unearthing it in a closet where it was carefully packed away waiting for just this moment to arrive, my mom and I headed to the dressmaker. There we stood. The woman who had thoughtfully, carefully, chosen the dress decades earlier, and the woman who had lovingly chosen that same dress, not because of its style or fit, but because of its meaning.
There was something about standing in front of a mirror, seeing myself in a wedding gown, that felt both real and surreal at the same time.
The dress was a style that I would never have chosen for myself. The cut, the length, the neckline, the blue accent on the bodice, the need for a crinoline. But I loved the connection to my parents; I loved the closeness I felt to my mom. My only regret – that I took the advice of the dressmaker and let her make some style modifications to “update” the dress.
Twenty-four years later, the dress is once again safely packed away and stored at my mom’s house. Waiting. Just in case. But, since I only have sons, my guess is that the dress has seen its last wedding. Unless some little piece of it can be transformed into something old or borrowed or blue, when I someday become a mother-in-law:)
Are you sentimental? Do you have a favorite family heirloom?