I heard about this girl, her husband had an affair. What did she do? She had a bomb fire. Her lingerie given to her as wedding gifts, pictures, letters memorabilia, and her wedding dress. She burned it all. I remember thinking to myself, why would she burn it, why wouldn't she sell her dress, give it away, or make something out of it. After all that's a lot of material to just let turn into ashes. Why would she invite people over and burn it. those are memories. Why lose them. It never made sense to me.... Until I was faced with much of the same situation.
Its funny how something so simple as a white dress can mean so much to you at one point in your life and absolutely nothing at another. I remember picking out my wedding dress, it was more of a shotgun wedding than anything else. I was pregnant and the pressure was on. it wasn't an experience that I am particularly fond of. picking out a dress when you are 3 months pregnant knowing your going to have a much different shape and range of sizing by the time your 5 1/2 months pregnant walking down the aisle. Our budget was low, my sweet big sister searched high and low for the perfect dress for me, finally finding a dress from an online eBay shop. some Chinese lady from California. it was perfect it was cheap and it would fit my belly that's all I needed. I couldn't be picky... I didn't deserve to be picky. How can you have the perfect wedding you dreamed of when you are getting married in a situation like that. Being a very sentimental person, I oddly never had any attachments to that dress. It was never my dress. Not the one I had thought I would wear, but I also wasn't getting married under the circumstances I imagined, I never got the "proposal" I had dreamed of. and my ring.... well that's a story of its own. My dress never fit me just right but how could it? it was made by some lady 1000 miles away who had a simple guess as to what my shape would be at that time. I only wore it for a couple hours. after that it took its place in the back of a closet at my Mom's house Smashed behind the years of accumulated prom, frolic, graduation and random bridesmaids dresses.
So when I Packed my belongings, my life and moved into my parents last December, that wedding dress nor anything else wedding associated was on my mind, I had no love letters, no mothers day ,valentines day birthday or anniversary cards... there was never flowers that were given to me to dry and keep as a reminder of his love or thoughts, no albums of pictures of us in embrace. There was nothing to keep. It was simple, He and I lived alone together. We were a couple of singles. The only thing that had created a marriage between us was a change of my last name and signatures on a paper. Although I tried continually to create a relationship within that marriage I routinely failed. there was no way around it. Our separation was inevitable. there was nothing from that marriage worth keeping. nothing but what I needed to have to get by. Clothes for the kids, photo albums of the kids and me growing up. A crib for my 2 month old, and the one appliance I couldn't let go... My Maytag double Oven Stove. why I felt so attached to that I have no clue, maybe because it was the one thing that was MINE! The wedding dress never crossed my mind. It stayed hidden in the closet. The closet in the room at my moms that I once called my own.
After moving back in with my parents and taking 1/2 their home hostage for several months, the dress relocated into a black back and got pushed into the garage. I remember sitting in front of my parents Fireplace next to my baby sister both with a cup of hot coffee in our cold hands trying to save ourselves from the cold of a mid January morning. I said to her" I understand why people burn things, they do it because sometimes by burning the cold from your past you are able to then add warmth to your future" I don't think she fully understood what I was talking about, nor does she know my temptations to toss that black bag stuffed with a white dress that I honestly grew to hate. I didn't understand as to why I had not had the peace to do so. I thought maybe someone could benefit from this dress but what are the chances of a 5'11" girl needing a wedding dress while she is 5 months pregnant? The chances were slim but God always has bigger plans than us.
Just about a month ago early one Sunday morning I received a text from my best friend, at first I thought she was joking, in fact I at first thought there was no way she wasn't joking. she had said her husband had told her he wanted a divorce. She was serious and I was heartbroken. How could it be. Every impression I had of these two, was all about the love they had together. They, Unlike my marriage had spent time together, creating memories, making plans, and sharing dreams. He took her out, and she brought him coffee in bed. He gave her sweet tokens of love and she gave him her affection. My heart broke for her, I knew what she was going to face, I knew the road she would travel, because once again in our lives we were traveling the same road. My heart also broke at the thought of this love, this marriage this promise to love and cherish to the very end was shattered.. Gone. How could love just go away, and if it so easily leaves then is it really love. Is there really a such thing as love. I knew my own relationship which had been held together only by empty promises and expectations from the outside was nothing close to a love worth devotion and dedication. But the love they had, or seemed to have was something I had looked up to and secretly longed for. I wanted someone to want me, to need me and to want to make me love them back. I wanted to be Worth that. and they had given me hope for that. So not was my heart shattered for my hurting best friend but for also the thought of love being nonexistent, unavailable, and something that only was made up in fairy tales, and people pretending to be their beauty and the beast. The next couple weeks I watched unable to fix her brokenness. I cried for her, and longed to be closer to her to hold her tight. I knew she had much healing to do. So I was so excited when she called and told me that she was coming to town.... coming to burn her dress. I then knew exactly why God had led me to hold onto mine a while longer.
It was a Thursday night, her daddy's truck me her, a very close friend and her little sister... which made me wish for my little sister to be back from Cali for the night so she could be apart of this. We drove up an old dirt road, used cellphones for flashlights as we gathered wood and there we built ourselves a fire. There DeAnna stood, a white plastic bag of those things she once cherished a little black teddy bear, some ribbon roses a sign that had once beautifully embraced their home with her new last name, her wedding bouquet... that she so proudly held as she walked down the aisle as a beautiful bride, and that dress that gorgeous dress that hid her hot pink heels. the dress she danced the night away in. I knew this night was not about me but about her. she needed the healing I was past this point. all I had was a dress. There was nothing else given to me worth holding onto. we laid the dresses their together and lit them with matches each our own. There we stood around this burning fire, watching what once was beauty turn to ash. Realizing that yes I too needed this. It was all I had left of an empty marriage. There late at night in the middle of the desert, Tim McGraw playing loudly in the background, sitting on a tailgate, beers in hand.... watching our past turn to ash, knowing a warmer future awaits us both.