It’s just a dress

Today I am wearing the dress I wore to my mother’s funeral. A good friend is getting married and it just so happens its the one nice dress I have.

It’s just a dress.

But like most material things, they can come to represent something of meaning.

For me, it brings me to the questions, “what is constant? What is unchanging?”. I am going to a wedding, the birth of new life for 2 people in love. My mother’s death was a time for one life to pass. My son will sit at my side at the wedding, just as he did at the funeral. His presence one of joy and curiosity.

At my mother’s funeral he said, Mom, God is everywhere, he is magic. Magic is invisible. I asked him, “what does that mean to you honey?” He said, “Well mom, that magic is in my heart, so mama is not going anywhere, I will always feel her.”

Later, he and a few of his cousins moved the boards that covered the hole over mom’s grave. It was a spontaneous gesture, one that initially many of us in mom’s family recoiled forward in horror. But in the innocence of wonder, he just wanted to see where her body would go. “mom I know that she is in the stars now, in the trees and in the heaven, she is in my heart, but I need to see what its like down below too. What is it like to be in the earth Mom?”

And now with this wedding, a wedding that he has been looking forward to for weeks now, running to the closet to stroke his suit and tie for days on end, the same suit he wore to Mama’s wedding, I say to him, “why do you want go to this wedding so much?” “Well Mom, I want to see how they kiss. If I can see how they kiss, I can kiss you better, and can love you more.”

The way we go about our day can make all the difference for those suffering. Children, no matter what is happening in their environment, pay attention to the constancies without fail. They may have sadness, they may have joy but in that sadness and joy there is wonder and innocence, an ability to let go in the moment and keep meeting the moment for what it is.

We never know what that dress, that conversation, that pause to let another go before you may mean to another. Perhaps in a simple act of kindness you may be preventing a death, a new sorrow. Today as you go about your day, may your mind and heart be free to see the constancies of life with innocence and wonder, to hold the sorrows and joys within your own self as part of the connection we share with others.