Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Dress

Not long before my mom died, I found myself in a dressing room at Dillards. Standing in front of a mirror, I stared at the price tag and contemplated the cost. $125 for a dress I will only wear on one day, one dreadful day, and never again.

Choosing a dress for your own mother's funeral is a surreal experience. I needed to get it done before she was gone and there was no telling how much time she had left. But, I thought scribbling this errand down on my to-do list along with stopping at the post office and picking up dog food might minimize its significance and make it a little easier.

It didn't.

I slumped down in that sad black dress in the tiny dressing room and cried quiet tears of exhaustion and hopelessness.

I could have stayed there


I reluctantly bought that overly priced dress and two weeks later, wore it.

It's been two and half years since my mom's funeral and I've worn the black dress only a few times since. It always reminds me of that day, the day I sat in it and cried in a mall dressing room.

It really is the sad black dress.

With Mother's Day approaching, I've thought about dragging it out of my closet. I may even wear it on Sunday to church. With all of the talks, prayers, and blessings about mothers that I know I'll hear that day, maybe I will be able to erase the sad memories I associate with that dress and replace them with gratitude...

gratitude for the mother I was fortunate to have for 33 years.

And...my mom would never want a good dress to go to waste.


Lindsey Wood-Felstead said...

I can still picture you wearing that dress the day of your Mom's funeral. You were so calm, so together that day. I remember you standing at the microphone speaking about your Mom. My heart ached for you. I knew what was coming. I cried for you...lots and lots!! I was so proud of you for staying so calm and composed that day. You looked beautiful! I will look for you on Sunday, maybe in a black dress...maybe not!!

Keli said...

Ah, yes, us motherless ones. That makes this day a particularly hard day. I say wear that dress. Wear it to say "Up yours!" to cancer.

And I totally love that your mom wouldn't want a good dress to go to waste. Neither would my mom.

Kacie said...

I remember you wearing that dress too. YOu looked beautiful that day. As always. Although I can't imagine all that you have gone through with your Mother, I know I am starting to feel a tiny bit of it. I am scared to death for my mother. I would take her place in a heartbeat. I cry myself to sleep everynight and she is ok still. I still have her. I pray with all my heart that day never comes. But it makes me feel so much worse for you. I can not believe you have such strength. You amaze me and I hope you have a good Mothers Day.

Maury said...

What a touching story. I remember the morning of my mothers funeral I stared at my clothes in my closet and thought, I can't believe I am deciding what to wear to my mother's funeral.... and then just like you, I cried. After that, the dress I chose sat there and sat there until finally I had to get rid of it (even though I still liked it) because every time I looked at it I thought of that day and I thought of the feelings I experienced that day. Good for you to change the memories that the dress brings to the surface.... because it is, of course, a beautiful dress... and I'm sure your legs look amazing in it:) Your mom would be proud.

aubri said...

Oh Sara,
That is beautiful! You brought me to tears. Thank you for that story.
You WILL look stunning tomorrow!!! Happy mothers day!!