The Communion and Wedding Dress
In a small shack, a young immigrant Polish mother slaved over a small coal-heated cast iron stove to prepare food, and warmed water to fill an old round tin tub found on the farm to bathe her 3 young daughters, and wash their clothes. There was no running water, indoor plumbing, or insulation to comfort them from the bitter cold or oppressive heat. Food was scarce, clothing minimal, and the only opportunity out of poverty was hard work and educ
ation. In the midst of deprivation, gratitude and determination are often born.
Katherina found a friend, a girl, from a loving family on a nearby farm, who also lived modestly, but grandly, in comparison. Genuine friendships always seem to soften life's hardships. They played and giggled with abandon, never recognizing each other's challenges. They ran to greet each other every day, though Katerina was quick to recall her lightening fast agility running swiftly to guard herself from the mean-spirited, warmongering rooster, who also resided on that farm. Always on the look-out, the bird mercilessly pursued her as she screamed wildly across the field. At 97, her aversion for roosters remains unchanged. blue plus size wedding dresses
In the midst of her own family's misfortune, the neighboring family generously fed and sheltered her at times. They took her to church, and procured an unadorned, slightly flared but clean, First Communion dress with white lace-up shoes gifted by the nuns at the local Catholic Church. Worn many times over, that dress, she whispered, 'was the most beautiful dress she ever had'.
Eighteen years later, Katherina married Alexander in a Catholic Church that his father helped build. The pieces of her brides dress were both sewn by and borrowed from her future sister-in-laws; a wedding gown hand-made of lace and bows, a veil borrowed from family, and a bouquet made from her favorite flowers; creamy fragrant gardenias. In a cedar chest, she stored her resplendent gown alongside her husbands proudly worn Army uniform. They collected many cherished treasures over their lifetime, but none more valuable then the stories my mother now recounts from her memories of her long and fruitful life.