Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purple (11/05/09)
TITLE: The Ressurection-Purple Dress
By Carol Hall
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“You’d better find something decent to wear” was the last thing my mom said before she hung up the phone.
“May I help you” the well groomed sales woman with impeccably coiffed graying hair asked as I entered the woman’s fine clothing store. I was twenty-tree years old and should have been shopping for a cute party dress or at best, sweater and a comfy pair of sporty jeans for our family’s Thanksgiving celebration which was only two weekends away. Thanksgiving would be the second one I would celebrate in my “new life” of knowing Jesus as my Savior and Lord thanks to the faithful witness of my only sister who entered into this profoundly changing truth five years earlier. “Are you looking for an outfit for a special occasion”?
I was stunned and angry. Didn’t she know that at twenty-three years of age, I didn’t really belong in her store for older women? My mom should be here, not me! I was angry with God that I even needed to be there. This was unfair, unwanted and unexpected in my new life with Him.
Couldn’t she see? Perhaps my heart didn’t really show that my life had become consumed with the care of my thirty-nine year old sister, Sandy who was apparently loosing her four year battle to metastatic breast cancer. At the age of twenty-three, I resented living as the mother of a dying child. Our own mother had excused herself as a caregiver because she did not believe herself capable to manage the pain of this role.
“I’m looking for something to wear to my sister’s upcoming funeral” was the bizarre sentence that broadcast from my lips about a woman I loved as a mother and who was still alive. The sales woman and I both listened to my sobering announcement. It was momentarily awkward for her and unspeakably healing for me.
For the first time in the presence of another human, I wept over many losses. I thought tears showed a lack of faith especially to our family of unbelievers. For the first time during this journey, I was held by a complete stranger old enough to be our own mother and felt safe, unconditionally loved and accepted. For the first time in those past four years, I could be sad, confused and scared without being judged, fixed or condemned.
This was a turning point, a defining moment in my journey as a mothering-sister caregiver. In that store where I didn’t want to be, I was able to acknowledge out loud that although I didn’t understand or agree with Gods’ plans; my loved one was loosing her earthly battle. I experienced acceptance of myself and my situation, I felt freedom to move forward and acknowledged there were victories to be celebrated. I knew that I could let her go into the careful arms of Jesus where there would be neither more pain nor tears.
After we dried our tears the sales woman compassionately guided me to shades of black. “There is no victory in black” I thought. “My outfit needed to be purple- resurrection purple! That glorious Easter mixture of red and blue that is offset so stunningly by baby-chick yellow. The tears had begun to wash my anger away and I allowed God’s arms to embrace me. I was free to feel.
With a powerful sense of celebration, I accepted closure towards this part of our God blessed journey, mindful and expressive of the wealth I received in being a part of this honorable trek with a woman I highly esteemed. My life was enriched by the privilege of walking this path with Sandy and her young family of believers. My purple dress was to be a beacon of her bravery which I witnessed and cheered. The memories are extravagant personalized gifts from God to me. Ones I can never paint nor pen.
As God would have it, I did wear that beautiful purple dress to a very special occasion on Thanksgiving weekend to celebrate the His goodness in allowing me to have 23 years with one incredible lady known to hundreds as Sandy. “We’ve never had such a large funeral-even the Mayor’s wasn’t this big” the director commented.
My resurrection purple dress was well chosen. Sandy was greater than royalty in our town and I was rejoicing in her resurrection as some day, I too will join her where we can be sisters and best friends forever.
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