March 7, 2020
I went to see my mom today. I had previously asked if I could borrow her suitcases for our upcoming spring break trip, so she had one of them ready for me. The other one was larger and still downstairs. As I was going down to get it, she came to the top of the steps.
“While you’re down there, look through that pile on the table,” she told me.
For the next five minutes I was caught up in a moment in history. She had placed a carefully laid out pile of baby clothes. As I lifted each little dress by its plastic baby hanger (some being older than me, I realized), she told me it’s story.
“That one your Grandma made for me out of feed sacks.”
“That blue one with the pink flowers was from Hawaii. My friend sent it for your sister.”
“Your Grandma Irma bought that yellow one for you. She told me I could put you in it every time you came to visit because she thought you looked so nice in that color.”
“Oh, I made that one for you girls. The yellow one with the sailor collar. It was so cute!”
Then I came to the tiny little pink dress with pretty little birds stitched on the front. This one I remembered all on my own. This story I knew by heart. “This one was mine,” I smiled.
“Your dad left the hospital and went out and bought you 4 or 5 dresses that style when you were born. But that one he insisted was for you to wear home from the hospital.
I smiled as I thought of it. It made complete sense to me! My dad is also the one who insisted my name would be Robin if I was a girl. It only fit that I’d come home in a dress he bought me with little birds on the front.
The specialness of the moment did not escape me today as I stood there looking at the little pink dress. Today is my dad’s birthday. He would have been 77. He’s been gone for 13 years but sometimes it feels like yesterday. I miss him and think of him every day.
Today was the perfect day to hold that little dress in my hands, touch those little birds, and smile.