Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Power of One Garment

Last year I had a conversation with a former neighbor. We lived next door to each other in the early 1980's. I did a little sewing back then and when she asked me to make something for her I didn't hesitate. She was a new mother and had scheduled a "Madonna with Child" photography session. She wanted a gown to wear as she held her newborn but not just any gown...this one had to be special. My mind started to visualize the gown as she described what she wanted. I found just the right Blush colored fabric with a pretty sheen, not shiny. I found exquisite Chantilly lace in a soft ecru color. She had requested lace at the sleeves so that it would cover the backs of her hands. She also wanted the lace around the scooped neckline. It was a beautiful gown when finished and I could tell she was pleased. The portrait was perfect and it made me feel so proud every time I saw it hanging in their home. When I saw my neighbor last year she asked me if I remembered the gown. I answered that I did and she told me she had taken it out of storage, laundered it and loaned it to her daughter (the baby in the portrait) so she too could have a "Madonna with Child" portrait made with her newborn son. I can't even describe the feeling that rushed over me as my mind visualized another beautiful portrait. I was so grateful that God had brought us back together so she could share her story with me. I will never forget her words of appreciation and joy. Yesterday a cherished friend came over for lunch. We were discussing her husband's recent retirement. She told me about a pink dress that she had borrowed from a friend. She was going to attend a country club function put on by the company her husband had just started working for. She wanted to present a positive first impression to his new bosses. She said she cleaned and returned the dress twice until her friend handed it back to her one day and told her to keep it. She said she wore the dress for years. That was decades ago and she has helped her husband become a success. She found out that her friend had fallen on hard times and felt compelled to send her a card of support. She thanked her friend for the pink dress and put a $100.00 bill inside the card. My eyes burned with tears as she told me this and I told her that it was a wonderful token of appreciation. The pink dress had given my friend the confidence she needed to help make good first impressions when attending company functions. I am so proud to be her friend and neighbor.

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