A Wedding Gown

My mother-in-law passed away in 2009 at a relatively young age. She had been battling an awful disease for years, and we were sad to see her go, but thankful that she finally got to rest from all the physical troubles that plagued her in the end. As her sons and their wives went through some of her things, we realized that a lot of memories, and facts went with her that we may never get back.

For example, we were going through her clothes, and ran across a beautiful gown. My father-in-law didn’t recognize it, but the wives in the family all recognized it as her wedding gown. I had recently been putting together a memorial album for my husband to keep of his Mom and remembered seeing the dress in a few of their wedding photographs. I wondered if after 40 years of marriage or so if my husband would no longer remember my wedding dress, and therefore some of those memories would die along with me also.

While this is a sad story, there is a way to preserve such memories. It is through scrapbooking. You may not think an aspect of your life is worth scrapping about, like clothing for example, but if it is special to you and a story you might like to tell your children one day, then you should document it.

I wish she were still alive so that I could ask her about the dress and so many other things. I wonder where the dress came from, why she picked that particular style, and if there are any more stories behind that special wedding gown. I’m sure there are, but we probably won’t hear them.

A simple scrapbook page about a wedding gown, or anything else significant in your life, would be so helpful in telling a story that needs to be told. If I were to scrapbook a page now about my wedding dress, I would include pictures of the day I went shopping for it. I was with my Mom and Mother-in-law. It was special to me to have them both be involved. Especially since my mother-in-law was wheelchair bound and she and I never had an opportunity to go somewhere together, like shopping. I would include in the journaling how I shopped and shopped and couldn’t find a single one that I liked until I tried on the dress that would ultimately be my wedding gown, and I just knew. That day is one that will always be special to me, along with the day I wore that gown and married my husband!

My biggest piece of advice for anyone thinking about heritage scrapbooking would be to start as soon as you are able. Look at your own life. What is important to you? What do you want to make sure your children or grandchildren know? What worldly items that you will pass down some day have significance? The best way to show others what you loved in this life is to scrapbook your heritage so that your passions will move on with future generations.

Meredith Ethington is the author of this blog. To learn more about Meredith, and her history with Scrapbooking and Genealogy, go here.

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