This month I took a handcrafted vintage dress made by Jean’s sister, Lorene, some 30 years ago to be tailored. It has never been worn before. I found it three years ago, this summer, while helping Jean clean out her four long closets of clothes before moving into assisted living.
Jean would not have room for all her clothes, so I held each article up, one by one, for Jean to assess: keep or give away. Sweet Jean loved her clothes, always a bargain shopper, usually at Dillard’s where her sister had worked. As I held the hanger, she would look, give a careful assessment and say “I think I’ll keep that.” or “What do you think?” or “No, that can go.”
During this clean-out, I found a silk pouch, opened it and asked Jean about the long dress kept inside. Her sister, who had passed over 20 years prior, made it years ago. Jean had kept it. Out of respect for the love, I kept it. I couldn’t let this handcrafted dress, from someone important to my Jean, go to goodwill.
And three years later, I take it to have tailored. I saw something. The colorful small floral print on a black background. The cap sleeve, the crisp collar, the simple straight cut, and the long length. A one-of-a-kind dress, that’s for sure. You won’t this fabric anywhere else. It needed tailoring, taking in the sides and adding two snaps to finish the top front section. But the long length was a perfect fit for me. I saw something in it. I saw beauty and the possibility. Like anything, it’s the eye of the beholder.
I was touched trying it on at the tailors and having it completed. This is an action of bringing it alive. Bringing Jean closer to me. Making something that was wrapped up in a handmade peach silk pillow-like case, kept, cared for in a special covering, closed-up for over 20 years, but never worn. Bringing it out to be used, seen, shown. To be loved.
Let me wear the love. A true keepsake. Like the little light in me…I’m gonna let it shine.
What should you be showing, loving, unwrapping, and uncovering for others to see?
P.S. It is just a few days from Jean’s one year passing and it seems “fitting” I found something to bring her more alive to me. A one-of-a-kind making-this dress and more importantly our 22 year relationship that God made.
Live. Breathe. Alive. blog- Here I write about life, love, my spiritual journey and what I am learning to help others. Using the voice I have.