Saturday, January 13, 2007

My Wedding Dress

You are about to become privy to top secret information. Don't you feel special? Until eSuitor asked for my hand, only a handful of people knew what is about to be revealed:

I have had my wedding dress since 2003.


And now, the story of what insiders up to this point have simply referred to as The Dress.

I first met my wedding dress in 2002. I had recently moved to Zaragoza, Spain, and I was taking a stroll down the city's main street, Paseo de la Independencia. It is a lovely, urban street lined with European architectural gems, wide pedestrian sidewalks, and indoor/outdoor cafes. It also has an El Corte Ingles and several specialty shops. One of these shops is Cymbeline, a French design house of wedding dresses.

The beautiful Paseo de la Independencia. Who wouldn't want to go shopping here?

As I was moseying down Independencia one September day, I glanced at the window of Cymbeline. There in the window was The Dress. It was love at first sight. I just saw it and thought, "That's my wedding dress." It is a beautiful creation that I can't describe in too much detail, because eSuitor is reading this. I can say, however, that it is a winter wedding dress, and if Narnia had a good queen, she would wear something like this.

Considering that eSuitor was merely a prayer request at the time, it didn't make a lot of sense to entertain the thought of buying the dress, but I couldn't get it out of my mind. Whenever I was on Independencia, I would stop at the window to visit my dress. I would introduce the dress to friends, and I even walked into the store with my best friend, Anne to show it to her once they took it out of the window.

The following May, my mom and John (my stepdad, who nicknamed me "Starshine") came to Zaragoza to visit me. I told them about the dress and how much I liked it, and they said they wanted to go see it. So we took a field trip to Cymbeline, and they suggested that I try it on. We all fell in love with it. I brought my dear friend Laura there and tried it on for her, and she burst into tears. The general consensus was BUY IT! So in a joint effort, Mom and John, my Dad, and I split the cost of the dress three ways, and I ordered the dress in my size. The store on Independencia sent the order to Paris and said it would arrive sometime in July.

In mid-July, I got a call from my mom's best friend that I should come home ASAP. John had been fighting a years-long battle with cancer, and the end was near. Within 24 hours, I packed up all my stuff, drove with some friends to Barcelona, and was on a plane home to Texas. One of the suitcases I brought home with me contained my wedding dress. As soon as I got home, and greeted my family, John wanted to see the dress. I put it on, and we took pictures together, since I knew we wouldn't have that opportunity on my wedding day. He died one week later. (The above photo is one that was taken the day I got home from Spain. I framed it and added a note about it, which was displayed on my wedding day.)

I will always treasure that moment, and I'm so happy to have those photos. As I'm walking down the aisle on a hot Texas day in June, I'll be wearing my winter wedding dress, and John will be there with me.

I wish John could have met eSuitor. He would have been very happy that I'm marrying such a great guy. I do believe he is rejoicing with me in Heaven! Yea, Johnny!


Anonymous said...

...too teary to comment!
And I KNOW John is rejoicing, Darlin'

Katie Bearden said...

What a great entry! I didn't know that you were on Stint in Zaragoza until Laura (Zainfeld) Watson mentioned it the other day. I went on Summer Project to Granda and initially applied for Stint to Spain. The Lord obviously had other plans though by sending me to Italy. Someday, I think we should meet starshine because I think we would have tons to talk about! Have a great rest of your weekend! Congrats on the engagement!

Ally Bean said...

Most bridal dress stories lean toward bridezilla, but yours is touching and wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see the photos of it once the time is right.

Love Bears All Things said...

That is a beautiful story. Don't you love the way God's plan works for our life. How he leads us to the right place at just the right time to find the perfect friend, husband, love, house or dress. I can't wait to see it. Hopefully there will be air conditioning at the church in June.

J said...

Oh gosh, I kind of thought this was all going to lead up to a winter wedding! You are one brave woman!

I love that story, though. I think it's the best wedding dress story I've ever heard. :)

My sister brought another dress to her wedding, so she'd have something to dance in (she and her husband love swing dancing!), and that helped her. But then she changed back into her wedding dress, because, as she put it, it was the one day she could wear it, so she wanted to be with it as long as possible. :)

Autumn's Mom said...

OOh I've got goose pimples Starshine! That was a beautiful memory. You are so ahead of the game.

Anonymous said...

When does eSuitor become fEancé?

Starshine said...

Good one, Cach! I've been trying to figure out what his new name should be!

Emery Jo said...

Wow. This is such a beautiful story! Your wedding day is going to be full of joy and happy tears and millions of goosebumps. Congrats- can't wait to see the pics!!


ML said...

What a lovely story, Starshine! It's so fairy tale like.

Buttercup said...

I think it's clear you were destined to have that dress, and I'm touched that you were able to share it with your stepdad. Dress or no, he will be with you that day as I'm sure he is right now. But it's nice to have that memory and the tangible link.

On a lighter note, I'm now super curious to see the dress. Email?

Maya's Granny said...

ml is right on. So much of your story with eSuitor, and now your dress, is like a fairy tale.

I'm glad that you bought the dress -- it obviously wanted to belog to you. and that you got to have your picture in it with John and he got to see you in it.

Jenn said...

Ok, OMG I'm obviosuly a MAJOR slacker here, cause - YAY!!! YOU GOT ENGAGED!?!?! Congrats!!!!

I can't wait to see a picture of this fairy tale wedding dress! How cool!!!

Py Korry said...

I posted a comment before, but it seems like Blogger ate it (grrrrrr).

Anyway, I thought it was amusing that you bought a wedding dress years before you got engaged. But if you know what you like and it's in front of you, you might as well get it because, well, how often are you in Spain? :-)

Jessy said...

Ok, first I got a kick out of the fact that you already got the wedding dress ! Next I became really quiet after reading the story behind the's probably one of the most profound stories I have ever read, thank you for sharing!!! La vita es bella :)

Cherry said...

Argh. I posted a comment days ago and alas it's missing.

I wanted to say that I think it is extra special to know that you have that photo of you and John, with you in your dress.

My friends have told me that when you see your dress for the first time, you know it. It's great that you listen to what you knew to be true. I can't wait to see the pictures when you are ready to share them with us.

Anonymous said...

I know the story of "the dress", but still so enjoyed remembering it with you again. Thanks for writing about it. I can't wait to see you in it as you walk down the aisle. I will probably burst into tears again!


Ad said...

This is one of those moments when I should be working, but I am totally loafing and enjoying my friend´s blog. I loved reading the account of the dress. What rich memories! And snaps for posting a picture of Plaza España. I´m amazed by God´s goodness, and I´m thrilled for you and Brian. Love you so.