Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dance with me.

I was looking for my softball glove at my parents' house when I discovered the closet of forgotten dresses. My mom was sort of a tom boy (she said she had to wear tennis shoes to her own wedding so her dad would recognize her) so this was a fun discovery. There were exactly four dresses: my mom's wedding dress, the dress she wore to my wedding, the dress she wore to my sister's wedding and this:

Pretty great, right? It is definitely hand made and I want to believe my mom made it herself. She wasn't much of a sewer but I know she made curtains for our old much harder could a dress be? (I'm obviously not much of a sewer either.) Whether she made it or not doesn't really matter as I have no problem believing whatever stories I want to believe.

I tried on the fabulous dress my mom made and guess what? It fit PERFECTLY. Like, beyond. I obviously had to steal it. But first, I had to wear it all morning at my parents' house, taking every opportunity to spin and twirl and show off my new old dress. (I used to do this with my mom's fancy nighties all the time. I've always loved to play dress up.)

As soon as I came into my parents bedroom show them the dress I would be stealing, my mom's face lit up. She smiled at me and nodded and said, "I like that!" Since she had hardly said a word since we arrived, this hit me like a ton of bricks. I spun around like a good little girl and took it as a sign that the dress she made was meant for me.

A little while later, it was my job to distract my mom so my dad could get his Rush Limbaugh e-mail fix (she literally follows him everywhere he goes...). When my sister and I visited together in December, we discovered the best way to do this was with a dance party in the kitchen. She responds fairly well to music and showing off our most random dance moves gave us something fun we could do that also felt helpful. Plus, it was really funny when we did moves she didn't like (she would just make a face and shake her head no). It became our morning ritual and was easily one of the highlights of our trip.

This time it was just me dancing. But I had the dress. And my mom really liked the dress (she kept smiling at me and saying, "pretty"). Plus, how fun is it to dance in a twirly dress? So I put on a CD and got to dancing!

First up was The Mamas and the Papas. It started off okay with a little California Dreaming but as soon as This is Dedicated to the One I Love started, I completely lost it.

While I'm far away from you my baby,
I know it's hard for you my baby,
Because it's hard for me my baby...

I mean, I'm wearing my mom's dress and she's smiling at me and telling me she's glad I'm here and they keep singing my baby in that faraway nostalgic way. Oof. Now I'm crying all over again!

I was having a hard time getting a hold of myself. Which, I have to say, very rarely happens to me. I am not a huge crier but this was killing me. I had to change the music.

I figured nothing about George Straight could make me emotional so I put it on. Sure he has a soulful kind of voice but I'm not at all familiar with his music. I was sure this was a step in the right direction. But wouldn't you know it, the very first lyrics bowled me over.

Ain't love so strange, ain't it a pain in your heart...*

Come on, George! Work with me here, buddy. I skipped to the next song:

Haven't you heard, daddy's gone crazy.
Haven't you heard, mama is gone...

By this point I was pretty much bawling my eyes out.

When Bill showed up a few hours later and found me hanging out in my moms dress with a tear stained face, I just kind of shrugged. "My doctor said I'd probably have a much wider range of emotions without the Zoloft..." I think he was right.

*upon further investigation, the lyrics are actually ain't love A STRAIN... but at the time, ain't love strange was really speaking to me. You know me and lyrics... 


Gayle said...

May I put a link to this post on my blog? It was beautiful. I have a few followers who are caregiving for parents/grandparents with dementia and they would appreciate it. I was deeply touched by this. Much Love, Gayle

Gayle said...

P.S. I hope you brought the dress home. :)Loved how you mentioned the tennis shoes...that is sooo your mom!

No Mommy Brain said...

Gayle! Yes, of course you can share. Thank you so much!!

I have a pic of my mom in her wedding dress and tennies - I need to find it cause it's awesome.

And I totally stole the dress! I wore it to an Easter egg hunt tonight and got lots of compliments. It felt really, really good. : )


No Mommy Brain said... glad to discover your blog! I had no idea. From the looks of things, I could spend DAYS getting caught up (think we're hanging out on the same wavelength...). : )

Gayle said...

We are...our family has experienced many challenges as has yours. Hang in there. You're doing a great job as a mom AND daughter. Much Love, Gayle