A Gift, a love letter to my daughter before her wedding.
I steamed our dresses today and admired the way the lace and chiffon on both mirrored each other, yours white and mine gray. My hand stroked the delicate pleating on yours the same way that I remember touching your small tops as I smocked them with tiny "X" stitches, each a kiss.
As the steam worked its magic and the fabric smoothed, its warmth made my throat close and my breathing slow, at the thought of your wedding day coming so soon.
The air will be crisp and cool, and there will be leaves still with fall color crisping beneath our footsteps as we arrive. Then it will be a blur filled with love and music, food and drink, dancing and cake, more dancing, love and music, and then you are gone. The quiet will resound.
It will not be a heartbreak, but a heartrending, to be replaced with the heartmending of busy hands, as I sort the remains and recover lost hairpins and flowers, straightening and sorting like after your high school dances.
This one stands apart though, with solemnity and ceremony and blessings for you, and my dreams and hopes are for your life to now become easier and more joyous. It has not always been so, for all of the reasons that surround ME TOO and more.
I am so thankful and proud to have you here with me and in my photographs, sharing our common experiences as girls and women fighting for our identities and self-esteem in a world of obstacles. Your struggles and my struggles are being revealed more each day as common struggles. I find that strangely comforting, feeling a network of support that helps me to balance, holding a less tenuous position on the precipice.
I want you to have a stronghold with no precipice, a fortress, and as I listen to the silence after the celebration, the quiet will make my throat close and my breathing slow. My heart will fill with memories of girlish laughter and shared jokes, butterflies, cartwheels, and soccer balls, the smell of honey in your sun filled hair, and warm embraces.
My love always dear daughter...