Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm so happy I did this favor!

Get your tissues out, ladies (and maybe some gentlemen),  this one is a goodie!

Back in October 1984, my brother married for the 2nd time.  His bride, Pam looked lovely in her wedding gown.  My brother and his wife both worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, in civilian jobs.  About year after their wedding, Mike and Pam had a baby girl, Shannon.

In 1987, Michael had the opportunity to take a job on Gitmo (aka Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on our Naval Installation) in a civilian job.  They jumped at the chance to live in the Caribbean for a a few (5) years.

I had just gotten my own wedding gown preserved, after sitting in the closet for 6 years or so.  Pam asked me if I"d get hers preserved and keep it while they were in Cuba.  So I did.

They came home from Cuba, back to their home in NJ in 1992 (give or take.... I'm not real sure of the timeline). I had recently moved from NJ back to PA.  I was always going to bring the gown back to Pam, but we never got around to it.

In 1995, Pam, at the age of 37, died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage.  We were all just devastated!!!  Shannon was 9 at the time and her brother Ryan, just 5.

Pam's wedding gown stayed on my closet floor, in the box for years.

About a year ago, I told my niece, Shannon that I still had her mom's wedding gown and if she got married and wanted it, I'd be happy to get it to her.  Shannon was quite overweight and told me the likely-hood of her ever being able to wear her mom's gown was slim.  I told her that she could use the material for part of another gown or use it to make a christening gown one day.

A few months later, Shannon underwent Lap band surgery and has lost about 100 pounds!  This chick is HAWT!!!!  And to top it off, every day she looks more and more like her mom!!!  It just takes your breath away when you see just how much.  ( a little side note: Shannon used to get upset whenever her dad started to date someone and it looked like it might get serious.  She said she was afraid her dad would forget her mom.  I told her, as did other people, that all Michael had to do was look at Shannon because she looks just like her mom.  There is no way he could ever forget her!)

Over the weekend, at a Phillies game, Shannon's boyfriend, Ron proposed during the 6th inning.  Their families were secretly waiting at the top of the section they were sitting in, for him to do the deed and to witness this wonderful event!  Of course Shannon said yes!

Tonight, Shannon sent me a message, asking me if I could give her mom's wedding gown to her.  She wants to see if she can use at least part of it for her wedding dress, if not wear the dress as is.  I checked out the dress and aside from a little yellowing (which could have happened in the few years before we had it preserved), the dress is in good shape!  Thank goodness no mice nested in it over the years (it did spend a couple of years in my attic).

So, sometime in the next several months, I'll get the dress to Shannon.  I'm so happy I got the dress preserved and even happier to know that Shannon might wear her mom's wedding gown, or at least part of it.  And I know for a fact that if Shannon wears that wedding gown, there won't be a dry eye in the church!


Amy said...

What a sweet, sweet story! I do plan to have my dress turned into 3 christening gowns -- one for each of my children to use with their children, God willing.

Kim said...

What an awesome story!!

Joanne said...

Joanie - this is the most wonderful story - and you have so many good ones. Can hardly wait to hear how she used the gown.

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

Very nice Joanie! Be sure to get some photos!

gayle said...

I love this story! I wish I had worn my mom's wedding gown!

dana said...

WOW. You saved it all these years! I'm one of those people who keep GOODWILL filled up with my castoffs. I'm so glad it wasn't in MY hands!

I'm happy for you and your niece.

Debbie said...

Joanie, that is such a sweet story. I'm so happy for your niece - that she has found love and that she is at a healthier weight. I wish her much happiness!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Joanie, What a sad and sweet and beautiful story. I am thrilled for Shannon. What a wonderful gift you are sharing with her on a day that I'm sure she'll be missing her mom so much. I'm glad the dress has been in your safekeeping all this time.

And, um, I'm crying like a baby. GREAT story.

xo jj

Tracey said...

What a wonderful story.. Thanks for sharing xxx

dana said...

eleven days....I'm counting and it's time for another post! I'm suffering Joan withdrawal!!!