But beyond all of those special celebrations, I want to do something that would have a lasting impact of good for others. We've been so blessed in ways that others can only dream about and those blessings should not remain within our household but should spread to the world around us. We thought about planting a silver birch tree to replenish the earth on our silver anniversary since the date lands so close to Earth Day, and maybe we'll still do that, but I want to do something even more meaningful.
Then, I came across the idea of donating my wedding dress and I just knew that this is what I have to do. I certainly can't fit into it anymore, and even if I could, where would I wear it? My daughter won't want to wear an old dress that will be out-of-fashion by the time she gets married. For twenty-five years it has been sitting in a box inside a trunk where nobody can find any meaning or joy from it. My dress, a garment rich in beautiful memories, symbolizing the happiest day of my life, is destined for a new life with a greater purpose.
I found a website, Donate My Wedding Dress, which has many ideas on where to donate wedding dresses for women who are in poverty or women who are suffering other indignities in life and while I was still pondering all of those worthy causes, I learned about Angel Gowns. Throughout the United States, Canada, England, Australia, and perhaps many other places around the world, talented seamstresses give of their time to repurpose used wedding gowns into burial gowns for babies who are stillborn and they call them Angel Gowns. Each donated wedding dress can be made into multiple burial garments which are all donated to Neonatal Intensive Care Units and funeral homes. I think that each stitch of the needle and thread is a prayer of love and sympathy for the grieving families who must cope with such unimaginable sorrow. The life of a child, however short, has meaning and purpose and the grief of parents who lose a child to miscarriage and early death is real and piercing. I decided that I wanted my wedding gown to be used for burial gowns that will offer dignity and meaning to parents who must say good-bye to their children far too soon.
It took a few visits to several Angel Gown websites before I found someone who is currently accepting wedding gown donations. I found her through Angel Gowns by Michelle, a beautiful website well worth a visit. Linda, the woman to whom I sent my dress, has just started a website, Angel Gowns by Linda, and a facebook page, and is currently trying to raise funds to obtain tax-exempt status. Please consider sending a donation if your heart is so moved.
As I wrapped my dress and hat in tissue and placed them in the box for shipping, I added a prayer for the future recipients and another one for the generous seamstress with the gifted hands.
Heavenly Father, you have blessed me in abundance with every good and lovely thing, and in particular, twenty-five years ago, you blessed me with a husband who has been my treasured companion each and every day. In gratitude to you for your goodness, I give this dress, worn and kept with so much joy in my heart, as a token of my love and appreciation for the gift of all human life.
Please bless the seamstress as she deftly takes the seams apart and creates a new garment of love for the little ones whose lives ended far too soon. Please bless the parents and family members whose grief and heartbreak will rip and tear at the seams of their hearts for years and years to come. May the gown that they place upon their babe bring them some peace amidts the tears. And please bless the babies who have perhaps endured suffering and pain in their little bodies and are eager to join you in heavenly bliss for all eternity.
My Jesus, I trust in You and Your eternally wise and holy plan. You make all things new and beautiful. Thank You for the grace of Your love. Amen.