Tomorrow it will be thirty years since my husband and I exchanged wedding vows. He took off a few days in case I wanted to celebrate, but honestly in the middle of packing, I can’t think about taking a little trip away. I am too overwhelmed and it’s a sin really, because 30 years is a long time and deserves to be celebrated right. Instead of packing clothes to go away, we are packing boxes and throwing out as many things as I can part with.
One of those things I was prepared to add to the trash was my wedding gown. After we got back from our honeymoon, I took my wedding gown to the dry cleaners to have it cleaned and preserved in a special keepsake box. I forgot about the keepsake box because they had put it inside another regular box. The box has been sitting in my basement for 25 years, on top of a wardrobe closet, collecting dust. I was not looking forward to taking it down and disposing of it. But, this morning I bit the bullet and had my husband bring it down for me. I cleaned of the dust off the outer box and then looked inside to find the gown carefully laid out in a gold keepsake box. Maybe I had never seen it before or saw it just the one time when I picked it up. So I told my husband I would save it and get rid of the outer box.
Now for some reason unbeknownst to me, my older daughter has been trying to subtly tell me I should keep my wedding dress. For the past couple of weeks or longer, I have been talking about dumping it and she suggested I have it “framed.” I looked at some pictures online of framed wedding dresses and they are huge. Where would I ever put something like that anyway? I told myself I will never be wearing this dress again. My daughters certainly won’t be wearing it. What is the point of holding on to this 30 year old dress? The only thing I envisioned was that one day my girls would be going through my things to dispose of them and then they would have to agonize about what to do with this dress. The dress would be an albatross around their necks. When I had gotten it preserved, I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I thought if I had a daughter she might want to wear it? Maybe she would want to open the box and see it up close? That was then, this is now. So because it was so nicely packaged, and because my daughter seemed more concerned about parting with it than I was, I decided to hold on to it and told her so. I asked her why she wanted me to keep it, but she doesn’t know. Then she says, maybe we can find a more “compact” way of keeping it. I had to laugh to myself wondering why my wedding gown seem so important to her. Maybe in time she will figure out why.
My husband was totally understanding about my feelings. My nerves are on edge and I am tired. I am not in a celebrating state of mind, body or spirit, in spite of the huge milestone we are about to hit. So he suggested that we go to dinner tomorrow and celebrate in the fall after we are all settled in our new home. That sounds a lot more appealing to me. For now we will focus on this move that I have been putting on hold until the girls graduated college and my husband was able to retire. I have waited a long time for this and it’s long overdue. I feel like this is my time and our time to do the things we have put off because other things took priority. I hope it all turns out the way we envision it will.