Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Blessing Dress

Before Molly was born I spent a lot of time trying to find a beautiful hand crocheted or knit dress for her to wear at her baby blessing. I wanted to make one myself, but I didn't know how to crochet or knit. So, I looked everywhere to find one. Unfortunately, all the ones I found were done with a thick yarn and didn't seem as beautiful and delicate as what I wanted to bless my daughter in.

I told my friend and co-worker, Libby, about the dress I was looking for and she told me that she knew how to crochet and she really enjoyed it. She then kindly offered to make Molly's dress! I was so amazed at her kindness and was so happy. Libby agreed that she liked dresses in a small and precise pattern at set to work! I was so excited to have something unique and beautiful made that all my baby girls would get to be blessed in one after the other.

As she was making the dress and she would give me updates on her progress as my pregnancy neared the final weeks. When Molly came three weeks early and passed away, the thought of the dress made me so emotional. Libby finished the dress when I was still in the hospital and she came to visit us and brought it to us.

I remember Libby sitting on edge of my bed with tears in her eyes and we looked at how absolutely beautiful the dress was. It was perfect. It was exactly as I hoped it would be. Every tiny piece of it showed hours of hard work in a gift just for our baby. We decided immediately that instead of the baby blessing in the dress, it was appropriate for Molly to be buried in the dress.

When the time came, Molly looked absolutely beautiful. She looked like a perfect angel in her dress when we said our final goodbye's.

During our grief after losing Molly, there was a certain pang of additional sadness at the loss of the dress as well. (Much like the thought of the blanket I made for Kellen has an additional stabbing pain. A loss of the hard work and love- the high hopes buried in the ground with my babies. It was a show of faith that ended up wrapping my baby in handmade love)

When I had returned to work after Molly's service, I was telling Libby how beautiful Molly looked in the dress. We talked about the service and went about work. I was putting information in the computer and Libby let me that she had decided to make us a second dress exactly like the one she made for Molly. She wanted us to be able to have the dress that Molly was buried in, and then our girls can be blessed in the same dress their older sister wears.

I can't begin to accurately explain the emotions it caused me. Its not like getting a second identical dress would bring my sweet girl back to me, however it was as though I would be able to hold a piece of her again. I remember just weeping tears of gratitude and happiness as I stood there taking in what she was telling me. It was such a huge amount of effort and time, and now a very emotional undertaking, that Libby was offering us. What a beautiful gift.

Well, time passed and eventually I left my job at the hotel. The dress took Libby a long time to make, naturally. Its details were so fine and intricate. The dress is very long and the thread is so thin. I thought about the dress just about every day over the next year. Then, after losing Kellen, we were in Colorado for his service. I got a message from Libby telling me that she had finished the dress and had had it for a while and was unsure of when the right time to give it to me was. She offered for us to bury Kellen in it, too. However, my mom had already gone on a long hunt to find Kellen his outfit, and this dress was going to be for me a way for my future girls to have a connection to their sister.

When we got back to Idaho after Kellen's funeral, I wanted so badly to contact Libby and let her know I wanted the dress. However, it was hard to gear myself up for such an emotional moment. The last time I saw that dress it was on my baby as we closed her casket. Every day I would want to email her or call her, but I would decide to save the emotions for another day.

When Lucas and I decided to move, I knew it was time to face it. I couldn't leave without the dress. I couldn't not let Libby know how much I appreciate the long hours spent selflessly making BOTH dresses for our family. I wanted her to know how much I loved her for it. So I emailed her.

Yesterday, Libby drove over and brought us the dress. Again, she sat by me as tearfully I opened the box. When I saw the dress it took my breath away. I could hardly see the details through my watery eyes. Libby had it protected in a bag, and had even made a tiny slip to wear under it and little booties to match. It is perfect. It is beautiful. It looked just as I remembered. I felt overwhelmed with missing Molly and Kellen as I looked at it. Lucas said that he thought having that dress is pretty poetic for us. We can't wait to have our future daughters blessed in it. (And if we only have sons, just having the dress gives us the same joy) We sat and talked to Libby and thanked her for all her hard work. I hugged her, as if a hug and a 'thank you' can accurately show her how much this means to me.

So, that the story of the blessing dress. Have you ever seen something so beautiful? I just want to sit and stare at it all day. I want to run my fingers over every part of it.
What a wonderful, perfect, beautiful gift.


Carrie Lynn said...

That dress is perfect and beautiful, just like Molly. I think it deserves to be framed until you have another baby to bless in it. It is truly a work of art.

coco_angel said...

That is gorgeous!!!! Absolutely stunning! A perfect heirloom to be passed down in your family!

Haley said...

What a talent your friend has!! And how kind of her to share it with you. I can't imagine the hours spent on that. Gorgeous.

Brandilyn said...

oh my goodness. like you, i don't have the words to accurately portray how stunning and sweet and beautiful molly's little blessing dress is. what an incredible gift! i agree with carrie...i hope you guys frame it or keep it somewhere where it can be admired every day for the piece of art that it truly is. i'm so happy molly was laid to rest wearing something as perfect, pure, and beautiful as she is.

Rob and Em said...

That is such an amazing thing! That dress is beautiful. Your future daughters will have such an amazing story when they think of their blessing day and the dress.