Tuesday, July 19, 2016


On Sunday I spirited Suzanne away for a few hours of shopping. She bought a handmade wedding gown in Africa, but since then she's bought little else, so we looked for dresses, tops, slacks — not just attire for the rehearsal dinner and other parties but outfits she can wear to work, too.

It's such a lovely, old-fashioned tradition, collecting pretty new things to take into your new life. I remember the dresses Mom bought me, her use of the word "trousseau," which seemed old-fashioned even then.

When I stood in the dressing room with Suzanne I felt  Mom's presence more than usual. I thought of all the times we were in dressing rooms together, laughing, sighing, asking each other, "How do I look?"

As Suzanne checked the mirror for length and fit, I kept thinking of her younger self running in the backyard, a trail of curls bobbing in the breeze, then years later sprinting up a hill during a cross-country meet.

But every memory, every glance, was doubled, because with each memory I could feel Mom's gaze in mine. I reminded myself that I'm the old(er) woman now. That it's Suzanne's trousseau we were shopping for, that in what seems like no time a lifetime has passed.

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