Healing Beautiful

Riffling through the garage yesterday, Abby and I came upon a treasure- at least to her five-year old sensibilities. Even little girls who dress as Darth Vader most of the time fall in love with wedding dresses, and her eyes lit up as I slid the zipper down on the thick garment bag and pulled out the confection of tulle, satin and pearls. In the bottom of the case were also my shoes and veil from that happy day so long ago, and we spread them out across the living room while she oooh’d and ahhh’d.

“Ooooooh, Mom! It’s beautiful! Can I put it on?!”

I’ve never gotten my wedding dress out before. Not once, not since the day in September twelve years ago when I zipped it away. A lot has happened since then- three babies, several moves, two houses bought- one lost, my marriage destroyed; I wasn’t sure how I would feel pulling that giant pile of fluff and tulle out. Oddly, not a thing. It kind of surprised me- no gut-lurch, no hot tears being blinked back- just kind of quiet detachment, looking at a pretty relic.

Abby’s right- it’s a beautiful dress. I fell in love with it when I saw it in the window of the bridal shop; it was the only dress I ever tried on. Seriously. Unclasping the tiny silk buttons down the back, I readied to lift it over Abby, who had already eagerly stripped down to her knickers and was wiggling with joy. Of course it was huge on her, the tulle ballgown skirt swamping her and puddling in a cloudlike poof- but she felt beautiful, like a princess, she proudly proclaimed.

And that’s just how she should feel in a wedding dress. It belongs to her now. A beautiful reminder of something that was, and isn’t anymore, but has finally scarred over and become smooth with time. We had fun playing dress-up, and I zipped the gown back into it’s bag and hung it in Abby’s closet. She’s gone in to look at it a dozen times since yesterday. I think maybe Darth Vader has been supplanted by gossamer… what I really want though, is to see her try and put the veil on with the Vader outfit. Now that would be awesome. Turns out time does, in fact, heal all wounds.

13 thoughts on “Healing Beautiful

  1. I only know you through your writing, Tracy, but for some reason that dress looks EXACTLY like it belongs to you. And now, like Abby!

    • Molly, that’s how I felt when I saw it- and why I never even tried on another. It is me. If my writing reflects that, then I’m doing a better job than I thought I was. Thank you.

  2. Your title says it all. You and your kids have healed beautifully.

    This will be a moment (and based on the number of trips to her closet, has already become multiple moments) that Abby will always cherish.

  3. Thank you for posting this. I need to hear that things will get better. I know that they will, but the hurt and all that charming mess that comes with a breakup/divorce, etc., can really muddle one’s thoughts and feelings at times. I just moved out of my now-ex fiance’s house today. I had no real time to prepare, I pulled my car out of the shop yesterday ($1800 later…) and scrambled to get a U-Haul and storage unit. I am grateful for friends who are letting me (I can’t believe I am doing this) couch surf until I can save enough money to get a room somewhere. So far though everyone has been very supportive and I am made to feel as comfortable as possible. While I know it’s important to acknowledge the painful feelings, I also want to and am looking forward to not feeling them as intensely or as often. I just want a nice life. I want to be self sufficient and secure. I want to enjoy my group of friends and learn to grow it with the right kind of thinking.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me blab. And thank you for the testimony that it will get easier with time.

  4. I can imagine the joy Abby is getting from having that dress in her closet. When she does figure out how to combine the veil with her Darth getup, post a pic. 🙂

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