The Dress and the Days Between
A dear friend’s daughter recently got married. There is something surreal about watching someone you have prayed for since before they were born get married! As I looked at our daughter sitting next to my husband, it made my heart stop just a little bit. Wasn’t the bride just 12 years old yesterday?
After the wedding, my sweet girl asked 1000 questions about my own wedding. She wanted to see pictures of the dress, the bridesmaids, the invitations, the cake, the bridal showers….I took a walk down Memory Lane as I showed her my albums documenting our Engagement and Wedding. It seems like yesterday and a thousand years all at the same time. We will celebrate our 24th Wedding Anniversary in July.
As we looked at pictures and talked about friends, I told my sweet girl that I still had the dress that I wore to my rehearsal dinner in my closet and she asked to see it. I pulled it out and she asked to try it on. Of course, I said YES. I’m not sure why I expected it to be just like the “good ole days” when she clomped around in my high heels with my dress dragging the ground behind her. She would top it off with “liss-tick” all over her face and we would go to a Tea Party with Goldfish and orange juice.
I was quickly snapped out of my nostalgia as I looked at my daughter in the dress that I wore the night before I married her daddy--IT FIT. And, she was beautiful. Yes….it is true. It could be taken up a little bit in the length and maybe some (incredibly minor) alterations, but if needed, my child could wear this dress in public and it would be okay.
Except, as I looked at her wearing my dress, my initial thought when I picked my jaw up off the ground, was “this is NOT okay!”
It wasn’t that it fit her that was so bothersome at first. What bothered me the most is that it USED to fit ME. After I talked myself off of the ledge to eat only carrots, walk 100 miles a day, and drink 5 gallons of water before bedtime, I looked at all of the scrapbooks next to the wedding album. Twenty four years of life between the night I wore that dress and the day my daughter put it on. Twenty four years is a long time.
A lot of life has been lived in those twenty four years. Two boys and a girl. Job changes. Beach vacations. Mountain vacations. Holidays. Family days. Firsts. Lasts. Professions of Faith. Baptisms. Victories. Challenges. Laughter. Tears….all the things that go with “For better. For worse. For richer For poorer. To love, honor, and cherish until death do you part” things. All brought to our family by the Lord who planned all of our days “to prosper us and not to harm us to and give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
Life has been lived to the fullest in the Tyson home. Not all days have been bright and shiny. Some days have been down-right miserable. But those difficult days are eclipsed by the many days filled with laughter, love, and family.
So…the dress didn’t fit me. Clearly, over the 24 years in my closet the dress has shrunk. It’s the only explanation. But if the dress not “shrinking” means that I would have to trade the life that I have lived with my family, let it shrink.
I am the wife and mom that I am today because of all of the days between when “I” wore the dress and when “she” wore the dress. I do love that dress. Maybe I will wear it again in heaven. Until then, I will be thankful for the Hand of God on our family and the life that He has given us. I’ll probably eat a few more carrots along the way, drink more water, and walk a little more too. But not so the dress will fit—so I can look back in another 24 years and be thankful for all the Lord has done.
~Lisa Hughes Tyson