Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Letter to the Wedding Gown

Once you were merely fabric, but now you belong to a Bride.  In my home you hang, wrapped in plastic, your beauty hidden for just a few more weeks, and I feel the need to express some things to you before your grand debut. You are so lovely, so intricately woven, so carefully embellished. You have been chosen, chosen by a young woman full of hope for the future that she will have. Chosen by her, with a longing for bridal perfection on the day she presents herself to him, this man she desires.
Soon you will drape her as she makes her way down an isle, lined with loved ones, to begin a new life. But before you have your moment of glory, Beautiful Gown, you should hear about some of the lovelies who graced this girl.

There was a gown, simple and sweet—made from only a yard of cotton that danced with bunnies while she slept. This gown had a draw string to keep her tiny toes safe inside. While it was not embellished with rhinestones and crystals, watching the one who slept in that gown brought a light to my life. When I think of your bride, two decades ago, in that beautiful gown, it makes my heart swell and brings tears to my eyes. And, as lovely as you are today, I treasure the memory of that animal print sleeper, just as fairly. 

I remember a gown that she wore at age two, in her pinkness and blondness fresh from the tub. Her toes danced the hallways and giggles played their own tune for her nighttime rituals. She in her gown, snuggled in the lap of her Daddy, “Read another one!” she would beg, as she reached for a book. Whether the evening held laughter or bedtime tears, it’s irrelevant now, because the child in this gown was here for only a moment. The gown is long gone; one day tossed away like a rag. Not treasured, as it should have been. The simple nightgown of a preschooler never had a shining moment to waltz on a dance floor, but it wrapped her in soft sweetness, night after night, as she cuddled in her bed.

The pinkness disappeared for a while to make room for leopard prints and glamour gowns. The teenage girl found her way through dances and Proms. There were dresses and shoes, make up and nails, as if all a rehearsal for the day she met you. And, soon you will take the glory as the gown of this woman, and each one will pale—forever remembered, merely, as a dress of her youth.
In less than 3 weeks, you will embrace this child of mine; you, Beautiful Gown, chosen by her, will take a special place in my heart and in my memories. In the closet of my mind you will hang, with the jammies and miniskirts, the T-Ball uniform and the swim suits. Each piece of attire that she wore, when she was my child, and I chose the gowns.

“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; 
you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes.” 
Song of Solomon 4:9