A few days before my guy proposed, a dear, dear friend and mentor passed away unexpectedly. As she was not yet fifty years old, the thought of losing her had never even crossed my mind. Just two days before her passing we’d shared late-night laughter among a small circle of friends over greasy diner food. Now suddenly she was gone.
Her widower’s first words when I called to tell him the news of my engagement were, “Rosemary would be ready to go shop for her dress this instant.” The thought made me smile.
When I asked David—or perhaps he asked me?—to handle the decorations for my big day, he came up with the theme of 1950’s Hollywood Glamour. Mind you, I had only given him the bridesmaids’ leopard print clutches to work with. And he knew they would wear black. I had no idea what I wanted, but the man is a decorating genius.
A few weeks before the wedding David told me he had a few extra touches to offer. He handed me a box. Inside lay a beautiful mink stole—one of Rosemary’s prized possessions. “It’s December. You’ll need something to stay warm.” Along with the mink, he included the very clutch she had carried in their own wedding.
With Rosemary’s passing so fresh in all our minds, having these treasures in my possession made me tremble. What if I damaged one of them? But I knew how important this was to David, as well as to me. And who wouldn’t want to look so classy on her wedding day?
In my eyes, my wedding was perfect—much more beautiful than I had ever imagined it could be. The mink stole was the crowning touch on all the satin, flowers, lights, candles, and music. I could hardly bear to take it off when we were indoors.
The last time I wore that stole was my wedding day, almost four years ago. When David told me to keep it, I couldn’t even think of what to say. Now I owned a mink stole. And yet I’ve never again worn it.
Then yesterday my friend Deb showed several of us two minks she had inherited. “I’ll wear this one to the grocery store,” she said as she spun around in a black calf-length coat.
My eyes almost popped out of my head. “The grocery store?”
Why not enjoy what you have? was her response.
Why not? I wondered.
I’d already had a similar discussion earlier in the week with Tricia about some of the fine laces she makes. I’m almost afraid to touch the one she gave me as a gift. But she gave it to me to enjoy.
The same is true of this pillow from Grace. Little Butt brings it to me when he’s building a pillow fort (he’s been well-instructed that it is Mommy’s special pillow), and I’m sure those fingers are grimy. But I enjoy seeing this beautiful work of art in my living room.
Why not do the same with my mink? When Deb saw a picture from my wedding, she assured me I could wear it with dress jeans.
Off to Pinterest I went. Try it. Search “mink stole” or, better yet, “mink stole with jeans.” Look at all the ways one can wear them. Yes, many of them are pictured with gowns, but check out the ones with jeans and even leggings and heels, or fun and flirty party dresses. I can do that!
It’ll take a little bit of courage, but this fall and winter I’m going to do my best to enjoy one of the last gifts Rosemary ever gave me. It’ll add glamour to my life and warm memories in my heart.
Wedding photography by http://www.rebekahjmurray.com/