Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Wedding Dress

I recently found this old dirty box while cleaning out the third floor.

I was nervous as I pulled it out from under the bed and sat on the floor and prepared to open the lid.
I hadn't seen the contents of this box in a very long time.
Tears fell from my eyes as I pulled the lid back.
There it was..  My beautiful 24 year old wedding dress .

A million emotions and thoughts went through my head.
Since the preservation tape had dry-rotted away
I chose to open the box completely.

As I slowly pulled the dress from the box I thought back to the day when I first saw it.  A day spent laughing and happy with my mom. She was so happy for Paul and I that she would have sold her soul to buy me any dress that I wanted.

I am still much like I was back then at 18 ~
I am not picky or pretentious ..  I like what I like, 
 and out of all of the beautiful expensive dresses,
It was this $400.00 dress that I loved.

My thoughts drifted to my dads walking me down the ailse.  
Yes, I said dads ~ plural.
I was blessed with two fathers,  
 My real dad (with the grey beard) on the left and my step dad on the right.
Two very very different men,  with different sets of  problems..
They were far from perfect fathers, but they had one thing in common..
They both loved me
... and I loved both of them.

I ran my fingers over the delicate pearls and stitches and I thought about our marriage.  Just like the dress,  our marriage had bumps and rough patches
but the stitching stayed strong, timeless and beautiful.

I cried as I thought about the man who took my hand and promised me forever.  He has been by my side through the births of our daughters, deaths of my parents, through the good and the bad,  sickness and in health....
24 years...  and he still can't wait to come home to see me.
He still gets mad when I don't find 10 minutes to just snuggle next to him.
24 years.. and he still picks me flowers and nurtures my soul.
I've been so lucky to have this extraordinary man by my side for more then half of my life.

I brought the dress downstairs to show my daughters.
I could see Paul smiling as I excitedly showed them the fine details and told them all about the moment I wore it.   I knew that he too, had that feeling of nostalgia and was thinking about how lucky we are.

They all wanted me to put it on.  
I didn't have the nerve to do it just then.
Even though I've lost 35 pounds..
 I still wasn't sure that this 42 year old body would fit into that 18 year olds dress.   Plus I knew that I would probably get all weird and cry.

I waited until a day when nobody was home.
 I carefully pulled the dress up over my waist and slid my arms inside of the soft sleeves.  I climbed up on a chair to allow the dress to flow as I reached behind my back to slide the zipper up as far as I could reach.

I couldn't believe it..  I was standing in my living room,
 ( the same living room that I had gotten ready for our wedding all those years ago ), wearing my wedding dress.  It fit and it was still as beautiful as ever.

Although, somewhere along these past 24 years, 
 my boobies stopped standing up where they once were.

I sent this picture to Paul and I told him that I would marry him all over again.
And his reply was, " I can't wait!" 
 : )

I have since packed the dress up in hopes that one day one or both of my girls will make good use of it.
It's a lucky dress!

Thank you for coming along this nostalgic journey with me.
It was so much fun.

Have a wonderful day


Theresa said...

Tears in my eyes as I read about the dress:) I love thinking about days from SO long ago when my Parents were with me, sharing those happy memories! Enjoy your day dear friend, AND that lucky dress! HUGS!

Liz said...

Awww...that made me cry! So happy that you have such wonderful memories to share. And what a blessing to find the right to share your life with! May you have many more happy years together!

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Sweet post - makes me want to pull mine out of the box too - cant imagine it would fit though since I was a size 2 then :-)

Ana said...

Oh Leslie, you have me in tears. Such a beautifully written and touching post. Thank you sweet friend for sharing. Your dress is absolutely beautiful. Love, love, love the picture of you and both your dads.

Hugs and Kisses,

Blackberry Lane said...

Beautifully written, Leslie, and so heartwarming. So happy for your long marriage and beautiful daughters and your thankful heart.

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Very cool-big smiles here:@)

The Boston Lady said...

So lovely and how wonderful that you had the bonus of it fitting you! Your words were as beautiful as the dress. Ann

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Your dress preservation and your words are a wonderful tribute to your husband. I can tell that you both have a deep love for one another.
It's gorgeous. The whole story.

Jann Olson said...

Oh my, what a sweet and tender post! I was getting emotional right along with you Leslie. Your dress is beautiful! Wonderful that you could still wear it. I certainly would not be able to fit into mine. Although I don't own it. We had it made special, but then we rented it. I'm o.k. with that, but would be nice to hold it and reminisce!

Melinda said...

What a beautiful story!

Wishing many more years for you
and Paul.

M : )

Diane Mars said...

A true love story Leslie thank you for sharing and wow you lost 35 lbs thats great! I bet you look hot!

Vanja Holm said...

What a sweet post! Thank you for sharing it with us! :) And well done for loosing 35 pounds!!

Melanie said...

Such a beautiful post. And a beautiful dress. :)