The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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There was no way around sharing this captivating memory and no better way to display Christa’s beautiful love towards her children. My mom now sews often for my sister and I, embodying the crafty and loving spirit of her own mother. As for the dress, it still sits, boxed in the closet today, waiting to be worn again someday by either my sister or I.

My mom was an amazing seamstress.

Growing up, my brothers and sisters and I always had the most creative Halloween costumes, the most delicate dresses, and the cleanest suits for special occasions. So in October of 1986, when my husband Ken proposed, I already knew my mother would try to convince me to let her sew a wedding gown for me.

I looked through so many Bridal Magazines, gawking over the gorgeous dresses worth thousands of dollars. After visiting several bridal stores and hearing, “You know I could make a much more beautiful dress for a lot less money Lilo…” time and time again, I finally decided to trust my mother to create something spectacular. After all, she was my mother.

We spent hours looking for a few patterns that she would use to create this “one of a kind” dress. We chose an intricate lace from a fabric store in Philadelphia as well as a creamy silk she had picked out on a trip to India with my father a year prior. Little did I know she had a plan all along to create a wedding dress for me.

She was the most diligent and persistent woman. Day in, and day out, she sat by her little sewing machine in the basement. One stitch after another, for hours at a time. She was so meticulous in sewing the lace and beads on the bodice by hand. And of course, we went through numerous fittings until she felt it was the perfect fit. She truly amazed me.

When the wedding day came, oh, were there tears. I slipped into my wedding gown and instantly felt a great sense of pride in my mother. She did this! And what a stunning dress it was. So tailored and so fit to me. It was my dream gown…and to think that came out of my mother’s imagination and sewing machine! I was in awe. Though it is so cliché to say, “I felt like the most beautiful girl in the world,” I truly did on that day.

I learned to appreciate my mother and that dress even more so in the few months following. We found out she had advanced stage breast cancer, so accelerated that the lymph nodes under her arm were even swelled. It evidently had been creating great pain in her arms and hands. Looking back at the hours of tedious and painful work at the sewing machine became all the more meaningful.

The love she had for me was so clear through the work she put into that magical dress. And the most amazing realization was that it was all worth it to her too.

The Wedding Gown

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1980's

There was no way around sharing this captivating memory and no better way to display Christa’s beautiful love towards her children. My mom now sews often for my sister and I, embodying the crafty and loving spirit of her own mother. As for the dress, it still sits, boxed in the closet today, waiting to be worn again someday by either my sister or I.

Tags: wedding
Decade: 1980s
Rating:
Recorded by olivia matinas on December 3, 2014
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