Despite popular belief though, my revulsion did not stem from the view that dresses were dainty or feminine. No, you see my disgust in dresses came from what they stood for; things such as social dinner parties, religious Sunday mornings, and worse weddings. At the time, the presence of dresses only meant one thing; misfortune was walling to strike. I knew this to be a fact because the morning we received the phone call I was wearing a dress. A summer dress to be precise and as my mother’s shouts rang through the house announcing my grandfather’s death I remember thinking that she just have heard them wrong.
Even as everyone ran out the house and drove off, I stood there by the door and refused to believe that the same man, who had sat me on his lap only the weekend before, was gone. The next week was a blur but what I do know was that even in the middle of summer Texas heat the evening of the burial was cold. So cold, in fact that the women from the church dressed me and my sisters in our black winter Christmas dresses. Horrid dresses that chafed with every twist or turn. That same day we laid my grandpa In the ground was the same day I burled all races of dependence on any person other than myself.
Or so I had thought. However, the summer before my seventh grade year after coming home from my vacation at my grandmas’ my mother had exceptional news. I was sitting in the back of my mom’s car not but five minutes from the airport when my mom blurted out her decision in getting married. Not much to my surprise, on that day I was wearing a flared dress with hot air balloons on it. My thought process, limited to only two things was one, what had happened over the summer and two, did I even know the guy. Hillarie Ranger, that’s his name he goes to our same church.
Don’t worry he’s nice. ” upon meeting him, I realized there were loads of things that my mom forgot to mention. Such as, he was nine years her junior and could only speak broken English. The wedding was no more ceremonial than you would expect coming from an undergrad with six kids and a guy with a limited English vocabulary. I was twelve at the time and my mom had bought me a yellow dress that swallowed me completely when I wore It. At the time, It was the worst day of my life. As time progressed, though I had begun to realize how much we needed Hillarie.
From the beginning despite my mom’s objections he allowed us to call him Lola if calling him dad ever became too much. He never got angry when we made fun of his accent but instead demanded that we correct him so he could learn. When I had a bad day at school and wanted to talk to someone, he was always right there listening to every word and giving whatever advice he could. He showered us with equal parts of love and discipline. He became my mentor and then developed into a loving parent who only had my best interest at heart. It would only seem fateful the events hat unraveled in the midst of my vivacious world.
This time though the dress that would cause me agony was not worn by me. No, It was the dress my older sister wore that would break the glass of what I had thought was my perfect life. By the end of my freshman year my world shattered when I had woken up one morning and heard my sister say, “Destiny, he touched me. ” She said, choose the side of my adored but deceitful sister or my loving yet questionable father. The case though would never need my undying alliance. No sooner than it had begun, it ended. Documented as a he said she said situation, but in the end Hough they both Just left; her as a runaway and him as a broken man.
No longer, the dad I trusted and loved but as a stranger who could no longer trust us. Even stranger, it is funny what heartbreak does to one’s soul. No longer, did I enjoy the company of others nor did I trust myself to choose the proper people to help me through such a disaster. It is simple enough to say I gave up, not wanting to deal with the consequence of what I had once thought to be my ignorance. Moments of silence in which clarity could be offered were rare and it took months for the painful truth to hit me. Get over it. ” My mom’s stare burned through me as I felt screams begin to gurgle from my throat.
Get over something so impediment to my being, how could one say a statement so cruel. In the few weeks following though, I began to understand the depth in the statement. My mom was stuck in the same well as me, but the only way to stop drowning was to swim up and she understood that concept. She was not saying to forget but to forgive and move forward choosing to be at peace even if my own tiny world was crumbling. I no longer believe in a superstition of sinister dresses out to wreak havoc on my fife any more than I believed in Santa Clause when I was ten.
I have come to the realization that my life is my own. How I choose to react to hardships should not be based on what society or Seventeen magazine tells me is okay. No, I base it on an understanding that the sufferings in this life, the ones that do not kill you, are there to build your character. They are there to test the bounds of the strengths in you that matter. To see how infinite your soul is. How vast your love can grow. How deep you are willing to trust, because there is no other ability more profound then a person’s ability to forgive.