Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Dress I Wore to My Mother's Memorial

I like this title.  It reminds me of a lifetime drama I watched once called Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy (or something like that). 

It is ironic.  It is strange.  It is something that most people don't think or talk about.  I mean really why would someone write about the clothing they wore to a memorial?  It goes without saying that this is not a normal conversation.  But, I am choosing to open it up today and share a little about my choice.

I did not want to wear black.  I knew that black was the proper color for funerals and such.  It is the respectable, acceptable and expected color.  But, in many ways my mother was none of these things.  She was full of life and never really liked rules.  In fact, if there was a rule in place she took great joy in breaking it.  Sometimes in a small subtle way, with no intentional motivation to the breaking.  The breaking just happened because she was busy having fun living life. 

Other times her rule breaking was more purposeful, definitely thought out and meant to happen.

 I did not set out to purposefully break the dress code for my mothers' memorial but I did think about it.  I did some thinking and came to the conclusion that I did not want to be a mournful black mess.  Instead, I truly wanted to be joyful that day.  I wanted to rejoice in her place in heaven and reflect on the blessing of her life.  I wanted to smile at every picture flashed across the screen and sniff every flower on the alter in great happiness.  I did not want to be sad.  I did not want to cry. 

So, instead of black I chose (with the help of one of my life-long best girls.  thanks De!) a beautiful shade of purple.  The cut was sophisticated.  It was short sleeved and hit mid calf.  It was perfect  and my mother would have loved it.  In fact,  I am certain she would have been very happy that I had chosen to follow her rule-breaker standard and wear a happy color.  A color that celebrated her and all that she had lived for.

 I wore that purple dress and I felt great.  I did smile and I cried too.  But, I smiled more.

 That would have made her happy too.

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