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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)

TITLE: The Linen and Lace Handkerchief
By Rita Garcia


The oval mirror reflected the image of a beautiful bride. I could barely hold the tears at bay, not wanting to mar the reflection. My mom peeked over my shoulder—her make-up was mixed with tears.

“Mom, you were right when you said all brides have a glow. This is the first time I have ever looked into a mirror and found myself overwhelmed.”

Dabbing the corners of her eyes she swallowed back more tears. “You look like a princess, like one from the fairytales you have loved since you were small.”

“This does seem like a fairytale, a dream I have always held close to my heart. Yeah, I know you always told me I was in love with love.”

The tears won and mom touched my cheeks with her tissue before they could fall on my gown. “It’s almost time. I’m sure your father wants a moment with you. When he sees you I don’t know how he will manage to escort you down the aisle.”

“Thanks mom, dad was in and we talked before I put my dress on, can we just go where we’re suppose to wait, red eyes never look good on a red-head. If he comes in I will lose this battle of the tears—in a big way.”

Mom opened the small bag she was carrying. “Before we go I have something for you.”

She placed a delicate blue linen and lace handkerchief in my hand. I recognized it immediately. I had heard the story many times. My great grandmother had made it from a piece of the dress she had worn for her wedding, for my grandmother to carry on her wedding day. Then it was passed to my mother who carried it on hers.

“Oh, Mom, I had forgotten about your handkerchief, just think how much history is in this little piece of fabric.”

“I was thinking the same thing when I took it out of the silk bag. Grandma told me Great Grandma was married when she only sixteen, she was born in 1914, so her wedding dress for have been made in…in 1930. Which makes this handkerchief more than seventy years old.”

“Are sure you want me to carry it, it’s so fragile.”

Mom closed her hand around mine. “Sweetie, don’t you know, I have kept it safe just for this special day. In a way you are carrying a piece of the women in our family who have gone before us. A piece of the love and emotion they experienced on their wedding day. They may not be able to be with you in person, but through this handkerchief they are.”

Not only had I lost the battle of keeping the tears at bay, I lost the whole war. I had heard it said that a crying bride meant she would never cry another tear about her marriage—I should have a really tear-free marriage.

The door opened and my maid-of-honor, Jenny, came in. “Better hurry up, Susan. You’re going to be late for your own wedding, and Michael is already beyond the nervous stage.” Jenny smiled and I knew she was trying to clear the emotional fog in the room.

My mom checked my face and wiped a couple of spots. “Let’s go.” She said.

Jenny handed me my bouquet of white roses. Closing the door behind us, I could hear the music, which meant the bridesmaids were getting in place. From the look on my dads face, Mom’s prediction was all too true. How was I going to get through even one more emotional moment?

My dad kissed my cheek. “You look beautiful princess.” Then he waited as Jenny adjusted the back of my gown and veil, and then held his arm out for me. I felt the love from my father at that moment—he had always known me so well. I am sure he realized that mom and I had played every note on the emotional scale.

More than two years have whizzed by since that day. It’s two in the morning and I keep the chair moving at an even rhythm as I rock little Jacob, bundled in a soft blue blanket. Jacob’s twin sister, Aubrey is right next to us, snuggled in her basinet. I get misty eyed, just thinking about passing on the handkerchief to my daughter, along with the emotional story about the women before her and how this blue linen and lace handkerchief unites us all.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 10/20/09
What a beautiful tradition in this emotion-filled story! Your writing is heart-warming.
Edy T Johnson 11/01/09
Rita! (Our paths cross again.) This is beautiful, and the story unfolds so naturally. You certainly made it easy to feel the women's emotions :)

I'm so glad you stopped by my Autumn poem and left a comment. You are a dear heart and I appreciate you very much. (p.s.Are you on facebook, by any chance?)