Sunday, September 25, 2011

the dresses.

Yesterday, as I was getting ready for a wedding, I had set aside a dress I knew I would be wearing that evening...
but, just for fun, I tried on a couple older dresses...
and it was a bit of a wake up call.

Since John passed I have gained about 20 pounds. Although none of my friends will admit I look bigger ... it's clearly evident when I can't zip up any dresses I was able to wear over a year ago. In fact, Ryan broke one of the zippers when trying to zip me up. I ended up wearing a dress where I felt completely uncomfortable all night and I felt like my boobs were spilling out of the top constantly. It's uncomfortable being fat.
Besides the fat thing the dresses in my closet had a second fault. They taunted me. And one in particular haunted me.
they were all reminders of past events.
Most of celebration.
and one not so much.
These dresses had been with me in moments shared with John. They each had a story to them... and yet, part of me realized... it was time to refresh the wardrobe.
I guess it was part anger.
Part depression.
Part willpower.
Part courage.

It was something... something that made me put the dresses in the back seat of my car and drive to a local consignment shop. I handed over the dresses and the lady looked at each one thoughtfully. each time she had nothing but nice comments to say "oh, this one is nice..." "oh i like this.. " "you have nice taste."
And then it started.
The hot feeling in the face.
The rush of wet.
My eyes flooding.
I was crying over these pieces of material.

The first was a black dress from express. size 8. ha!!!!!!!
It was a "little black dress."
My most memorable moment in this dress was probably for Holly's birthday. I remember we were in city walk and holly had gotten a lot of gifts. It was then that John, being the gentleman he always was, took ALL of her gifts and brought them back to the car for her... which was quite a hike to the parking garage. I remember there was a vase of flowers he had to carry and he looked so cute holding them with the balloons. You could tell he was doing it to be polite but in a way he may have had regret once he had the vase of flowers in his hand...

Next dress...
I wore this dress to my friend Danielle's wedding. It was BCBG... my favorite designer. Most of my dresses came from that designer. This was the same wedding where i had caught the bouquet and John made a point to catch the garter since last time he had to watch some random guy put it on my leg. He vowed that would never happen again. And it never did. He got to put it on my leg that night... with his teeth... and boy did we milk it. The DJ was nervous we didn't know each other. It was a good memory in a nice springy dress.

Dress #3 also was worn at a few weddings... and was my most favorite dress of all...
It was most famously worn to John's brother's wedding. (seen here in this picture I absolutely ADORE of us).
It was a perfect "autumn" dress... complete with leaves on the bottom.
Beautiful browns... perfect cut... for my then body.
My body now wouldn't be able to squeeze half a boob in it. So, to the consignment it goes. 
I wore that dress to couple other weddings as well... but my favorite of all is Billy and Liz's. Its a wedding that I don't think many others can compare to. Although I swore up and down that mine would have... me and john wanted it to at least match the standard that Billy and Liz had set up. It was the ultimate Seay wedding.

Dress #4 is older.
It's another simple black dress that I had bought for a very special occassion.

It was the dress I wore to my college graduation. It's a bit of a risque dress now that I think about it.. it had a plunge neckline and showed a great deal of cleavage. I didn't mind at the time because:
1) I was being covered my a huge graduation gown
2) I had a great rack then!
But it's one of those dresses that I had to move on from... both because of not fitting it and not knowing when I would be able to "show off the ladies" like that ever again in my late 20's. ew.

Dress #5... the one that brought me to tears.
In my final photo with John ever taken I am wearing this dress. We were on our way to an event for the Orlando Philharmonic... 
I remember how excited I was to go to this event. How i got to show off my new accessory... MY ENGAGEMENT RING! How we got to be introduced as each other's fiance. I remember so much that night. I remember the excitement of being dressed up and going to a formal event. It was like we truly felt like we fit in for a change. We both felt so mature... the evening felt very right. The wine was endless and the food was fantastic. I remember sneaking in to grab a dessert before everyone and how John laughed about it... and how we almost kept falling into this pond with stones for steps. I remember walking in the back garden and holding hands. I remember this night.... and so does that dress.

The last dress I knew I would never wear again.

I am leaving out the picture although I have posted one before.
It was the dress I wore to John's funeral.
It was picked out for me by my friends. 
The time in my life where people made decisions for me because I honestly couldn't take care of myself nor did I care to.

But i knew this dress would have to be special. Because it was the last thing I would wear "for John." It was black and lacey. And honestly I felt like it was made for a funeral. I can't imagine ever trying to wear it again. It would be almost morbid.
So, I am glad to see it go.
But, so sad that I had to wear it for such an occassion. 
It's hard to imagine i let it sit there in my closet and haunt me. And when I touched it I am touching a moment in time where my life had gone to complete black... as black as the color of this dress itself.

Leaving these dresses at the consignment shop may be something I regret later.
Ok, I regretted it as soon as I drove away.
And it sounds like I am giving up...
like I know I will never be that size again or that I am letting go of memories. 
But, I'm not to both.
I am determined to lose weight and fit into those sizes again. I just think it's fitting in my life to get new dresses for new memories. And I could never let go of these amazing memories... that each dress carried with them. Perhaps the person that buys these dresses will have some amazing memories in them too. I pray no one has to wear one to a funeral. 

I just kind of had this urge.
This feeling inside.
To make some extra room in my closet.
to match the extra room i am making in my heart.


Curtis Romey said...

You draw my tears. Thank you for sharing, love. Thinking of you, Amanda

DianeRosolen said...

Hi Autumn....

I just ran across your blog through a mutual friend on FB [Jennifer M] I felt compelled to share this Prayer with you. It has brought be some comfort through the past years and I hope it does the same for you~ Diane


I am home in Heaven, dear ones;
Oh so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.

All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in Heaven at last.

Did you wonder I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh, but Jesus' love illumined
Every dark and fearful glade.

And He came Himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread;
And with Jesus' arm to lean on,
Could I have one doubt or dread?

Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still,
Try to look beyond earth's shadows,
Pray to trust our Father's will.

There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remains,
You shall rest in Jesus' land.

When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you Home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
Oh, the joy to see you come!

Autumn said...

thank you so much for the beautiful poem. it was comforting to read. :) Have a beautiful day!