my mom's wedding dress.

i'm pretty sure the moment you take out your mother's wedding dress is supposed to be a staple in a girl's life.

you pull it out, make a comment about how outdated it is, have a good laugh, followed by a heart to heart with your mom, who's standing there teary eyed in anticipation of your hallmark moment (or something to that affect).

so you can imagine my surprise when my sister and i took out our mom's (who passed away 18 years ago) dress (that my dad had shipped) only to find that the moment we took it out, an overwhelming smell of vinegar permeated the room
(someone should really contact the company that promised a "lifetime of loveliness")
and the dress was yellow and full of stains.

and i just didn't know how to feel about it all.

yes, we laughed because it was awkward.
but i can't say the experience was funny.

yes, i got a little creeped out by the state of the dress.
but i can't say the experience was scary.

yes, i felt a tinge of sadness that my mother won't be there to see me in my wedding dress or around to show me hers.
but i can't say the experience was crushing.

i couldn't exactly say how i felt or what the whole thing meant.

so mr. lesley and i talked about it on our sunday afternoon walk with sir winston.

my first thought was, "it's just amazing how much weight we put on things, like a wedding dress, but in the end, all these material things just come to nothing."

but mr. lesley (in his usual insightful way) pointed out that this experience doesn't have to be solely sad and depressing.
it doesn't have to just point us to our own mortality.
(although it does pretty naturally)

but that as God is the creator of all things, and everything comes from Him, we can follow in His creativity and make meaning from the things in our lives.
and that process of making meaning is a beautiful thing.

and that dress was meaningful to my mom.
she wore it with joy and pride.
it meant the beginning of her journey with my dad.
and in the picture of them on my bookshelf from their wedding day, they are smiling ear to ear.

so what do i take away from this?
a little humor, a little awkwardness, a little sadness.

but mostly a feeling that even broken, dirty, worn out things can hold beauty and meaning.

and on my wedding day, when i hopefully am able to incorporate a piece of her wedding dress into the day, i will feel her with me and proud that i am experiencing some of the same joy she felt on her own wedding day.

and moth and rust cannot take away the meaning of that.


  1. Hannah. I saw the subject title and instantly broke into tears.

    This is beautiful. What wonderful insight your Mr. Lesley has.

    I'm holding on to this today ...
    "Even broken, dirty, worn out things can hold beauty and meaning."

    Like you said, nothing can take away the meaning.

    Love you, Hannah!

  2. Just gorgeous.
    And how awesome do you feel marrying such a wise, godly man?!

  3. I love this. Isn't it freeing to find hope in the broken parts of our lives? You are amazing.
    I love you!

  4. This made me cry, Hannah. The image of your beautiful face opening the box--forever etched in my heart!

  5. Awwww... Mr. Lesley is such a gem.

    And I'm so sorry that your momma won't be there and that her dress wasn't what you planned it to be.

    But, just think that now you'll have to pick out something for yourself that will be special to pass on to your sweet daughter someday.

    Cause I just KNOW that you'll have a sweet little girl. Just like you.

    Xo. Tara

  6. What a sweet post! I loved reading it.

  7. I will forever now toast; "Even broken , dirty, worn out things can hold beauty and meaning." In fact they usually always do. Thanks for the honesty, and insight Hannah, and congratulations on your new journey. Sounds like you have a good guy, but more importantly, your good guy has an amazing girl. Cheers!

  8. as you know, i can SO relate to this post. you and nick summed up the lesson perfectly.

    as you and nick start your new journey, just know that God and your mom are looking down on you, smiling and rejoicing over the new joy about to unfold in your life.

  9. cut out a heart shape piece from the dress and sow it to a spot of your dress... no matter where you put it she will be with you the whole time on your big day