(Updated from 2014)
“We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” – Psalm 78:4
My Grandmother’s Wedding Dress – Part 2
For some reason the harp caught my eye. Then I remembered what Debbie the antique dealer had told me, that it was a young woman who plays the harp who had purchased my grandmother’s wedding gown. Could this be her harp, I wondered? Moments later a charming young woman appeared after taking a short break, and when she noticed me in front of her harp immediately asked, “May I play something for you?” “Of course,” I replied, “but first may I ask, did you by chance buy an old wedding dress from an antique . . .?” Before I could finish the sentence she threw her arms around me as if I were a favorite uncle. “I’ve been dying to meet you!” she squealed, recognizing that I must have been the purveyor of the vintage wedding dress she had purchased. It was a chance encounter for both of us that Saturday morning where we were shopping for vegetables at the local farmers’ market and she and her harp were entertaining passersby in exchange for an occasional tip. “I’m Heather,” she said finally, releasing me that huge hug.
Besides being an accomplished harpist, Heather also happens to be a collector of vintage clothing, sometimes modeling the dresses she has collected when she performs. As it turns out my grandmother’s wedding gown fit her like a glove, and she has since worn it a number of times during performances. But what made the dress extra special to her was knowing the story about my grandmother, her history, personality, and her character. And that is what prompted the spontaneous embrace I received from her that day.
Everyone has a story, yet many of us shy away from telling ours because we assume they are of little value. Being a rather modest person, I suspect my grandmother felt the same way about hers. And I’m sure in her wildest dreams she would never have imagined her story, as conveyed through her wedding dress, would touch someone’s life generations hence. When Heather got married a few years ago, while she did not actually wear my grandmother’s dress, according to her it did influence the way she designed her own. Which is to say, our stories matter, regardless how modest they may seem. So, let us not hide our stories from the next generations. We never know the influence they may have.