Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Red Dress

 

I was thinking about my brother-in-law the other day.  And that very same day a song came on that reminded me of him.  Tommy was dear to me, and out of all the seven brothers, I think I connected to him the most.  This story is probably the most precious to me, so I hope you enjoy reading it.


Tommy passed away about 34 years ago, and we were all going to Mount Shasta for his funeral.  Nel was just a baby at the time, and I was still so young.   We didn't have much money, as we were just starting out, so I couldn't go out and buy a new dress for the funeral.  So, I wore the only dress that I had, which was a red dress.  I know, what was I thinking?  Well, I was very young, and this was the first funeral in the family and wasn't familiar with the traditions.   Everyone started to take pictures, and it seemed like they excluded me and were treating me differently, and I felt bad.  One of the family members who was close to us told us what they were talking about.  They thought the red dress I wore was inappropriate, and that I shouldn't have worn it to a funeral.  At the time, I didn't know or understand why that mattered, but of course I realize now why I shouldn't wear red to a funeral.  After going to the cemetery and saying good-bye to Tommy, and as we were leaving the town of Mount Shasta, we drove under a bridge.  I looked back at the bridge, and on the walls were graffiti with spray painted words that said  "I love you Sheri."  I asked the person who was driving with us, "did you see that?" and he turned around and saw it as well.  And the most extraordinary thing was that the words were written in RED SPRAY PAINT!!!  At that moment I thought that Tommy was trying to say that it doesn't matter what I wore or what color I wore.  He loved me just the same.  : )

~Sheri

23 comments:

TARYTERRE said...

The significance of that moment, seeing the message spray painted can not be overstated. I got chills when reading this story because of another young girl who wore a RED DRESS to a funeral. ME. It too was the only dress I had and I heard the same dissatisfaction you did by those in attendance. I never got the affirmation you did, but hearing about your experience gave it to me after all these years. Thank you.

DUTA said...

Your story has a very surprising ending! Indeed, in almost all traditions, black for the family, dark for all the others, are considered the appropriate colors for a funeral. But there are circumstances when one cannot go by the rules and any other color should be ok.
Anyway, red is a color that draws attention; that's why it is not considered appropriate even at a wedding where all the attention should go to the bride.

Well written post and beautiful painting!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

WHOAH.

Well first of all, different cultures have different meanings attached to things, events, places, etc....we must all be forgiving to others who may not understand the culture NORMS. But God sees beyond those human-invented norms. While we are to learn what they are, respect them (for in so doing, we are honoring the people behind the culture), we must forgive those who may not know certain nuances.

In some cultures, you NEVER give chrysanthenums as a gift for those flowers are used only for funerals! In other cultures, you never, ever shake hands with your right hand - there is a cultural taboo attached to it.

But your story ends with an almost divine event, and the message you took away is an eternal one: God loves you as Tommy loved you. That's the most important part.

a writing place said...

How lovely...

Dear Sheri, a poignant post... Showing that what is in our heart, is so much more important, than what is "on our back." We all need to remember this...

Gentle hugs,
Tessa

a writing place said...

Yes! The painting!!

It looks a bit familiar. Not really *familiar*! Just the broad brush strokes, look like some, I have seen before.

No art critic here! LOL. Best stop, before I get myself any more, into a hole. :-)

Tessa

Style For Mankind said...

Great post! I love it so much.


STYLEFORMANKIND.COM
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Regine Karpel said...

Love.

Susie said...

Oh my sweet Sheri...of course he loved you. Honey, I know what it's like to not have much. I used to have a brown dress and a peach colored one and I wore them to most everything. Then I started sewing and could make myself some things. Then I got a great job and now have more clothes than I could possibly wear out. I think , that it's not what you are wearing, it's what's in your heart. I do believe in signs :):) I want to say, I like that painting too. Bless your heart, love, xoxo, Susie

LoveT. said...

This is wonderful Sheri ♡

lovely Greetings and lots of Hugs

Susie Swanson said...

Oh Wow my dear friend what a sweet post. This brought chills to me but at the same time joy in my heart. Beautiful message in this. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Love and hugs, xo

Mary Smither said...

What an inspirational post! I have heard several stories similar to yours, I even have one of my own after my mother in law passed.

I think our loved ones spirit never leaves.....they appear sometimes when we are least expecting it.

Thanks for sharing!

~Mary

Vicki said...

Hi, Sheri, and thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I know your loved one didn't care what color you wore. You came to honor him by your presence and that is all that really matters.

Sherry said...

what a beautiful send off .. i see it as a sign.
doesn't matter what you wear. what matters is what's
in one's heart. bless you dearly. thank you for
sharing a corner of your heart with us. ♥♥♥

It's me said...

Wowwww so special....love your story...❤️❤️❤️

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Oh sweet Sheri, I adore your story today! It bought tears to my eyes. I can understand how precious this moment was to you, dear one. Heartfelt thanks for sharing it with us. xo ♥

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Sheri I believe it was a sign from Tommy, as I have had signs from my son. Thank you for sharing this story, you told it beautifully.
xoxo,
Vera

Holly said...

Your post gave me tears and tingles at the same time, definitely a message from an angel indeed.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

SHERI! HELLO!

Thank you for visiting my blog post! You asked about the pink flowers; those are annuals, MANDEVILLA. They are tropical vines and are they ever happy in this humid heat we are having! I am enjoying their trailing habit as they grow and give us beautiful new blooms every day.

Hugs to you dearest friend. Much love. Anita

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Oh Sheri, what a touching story....I believe. <3 xx Karen

Attic Clutter said...

omg sheri..got chills..that is so wonderful..love it..
big hugs,patty..am sure you looked lovely too :)

Lowcarb team member said...

A beautiful post and once again your choice of painting is wonderful.

...and YES "He loved me just the same"

All the best Jan

Bety said...

Oh dear Sheri, how vividly remember this experience! How touching and sweet .... Your heart and soul suffered, and there were people watching koitot clothing you .... And yes, I know that in society there are rules, dress codes, mores .... Nice that you saw those red words that you accept them as a sign that soothe your soul .... The picture ah this picture - is wonderful!

Susan said...

Oh Sheri. I LOVED this post. Who cares if you wore red? I'd wear red today. Honestly I would. When we lose a loved one, we say goodbye as the person enters a new (and BETTER) life! Why NOT celebrate? Good for you, Sheri. Good for you. Susan