SOLC 2018–Day 2: Past Present Future



Fish swim across the woven cotton. Faded whites on a deep aquatic blue. Somehow the dress has moved with me from place to place, year after year, surfacing periodically. I’d almost forgotten about it until now, when my daughter, Adeline, pulls it from the depths of her closet.

“Mom, do you want to keep this?”

I turn to face her, catching sight of the dress.

A small “Oh!” escapes me. Then I gather myself. “I don’t know,” I say. “It seems kinda silly, really. I’ve just been holding onto it for all these years. I don’t think I’ve even worn it.”

“Didn’t your mom make this?” she asked


“Well, does it fit you?”

“I don’t know. I think I tried it on years ago and it was a little tight. I’m not really sure.”

“Try it on,” she urges, handing me the dress.

I take it from her and go to my room, holding it in my hands. Wow. This dress must be around 40 years old. So long ago, my mom’s hands chose this fabric, cut the patterned pieces and stitched the cloth into this final garment. I have a vague memory of her wearing it–tan skin against the batik, a flash of a smile, frosted hair– but I’m not sure if it’s real or imagined.

I slip out of my clothes and pull the dress on over my head, tugging it down to slide over my hips. I look in the mirror, turn to one side and then to the other. It fits snugly through the bodice, but falls loosely from the waist to my ankles, swaying about my legs. It’s a simple cut, timeless.

I return to Addie’s room.

“What do you think?” I ask. Again, I turn from side to side, the full skirt of the dress swishing.

“It’s cute,” she says. “You should keep it.”

I look at my daughter in the midst of her really-moving-out-for-good room cleaning. My daughter who never met the grandmother who created this dress. How interesting that it reappeared today, on the eve of her departure.

Again, I touch the fabric, taking comfort from its soft cotton and from its connection. Past–present–future. Woven together in this moment.

Of course I’m going to keep it.


12 thoughts on “SOLC 2018–Day 2: Past Present Future

  1. This is a real slice of life! I love how you turned these few minutes into a real story of connections! Beautiful pacing and detail.


  2. jcareyreads says:

    Woven together in this moment. I love this line. A truly powerful ending.


  3. Christine says:

    Such a moving post and love the way you crafted your ending. Amazing how a dress can spark such memories.


  4. margaretsmn says:

    I was with you in this slice the whole way, standing beside you, looking in the mirror, and I think I saw a glint of tears, but maybe not. Wonderful SOL!


  5. cindaroo42 says:

    Molly! This has an emotional punch! You capture this feeling when you are describing the dress that you’re holding before you put it on. I love the image of you wearing it with “a flash of smile, frosted hair”! I hope you wear it today!


  6. alexpapp says:

    You have given me a new way of understanding the mother-daughter bond. The constant tug of holding on and letting go. Thank you.


  7. Mrs. Tice says:

    I am a huge believer in things happening for a reason. There is a reason that your daughter found that dress. There is a reason that you can fit into the dress. And, there is a reason that you shared this slice of your life! What a great piece.


  8. ureadiread says:

    “Past–present–future. Woven together in this moment.

    Of course I’m going to keep it.”
    Isn’t it something how the things we need most seem to find us? You wove a beautiful ending to this slice.


  9. beautiful, powerful. keep it and wear it proudly.


  10. terierrol says:

    This is a touching slice. Things happen for a reason. Thanks for sharing.


  11. cmargocs says:

    Amazing the memories our “things” can evoke, the connections our hearts make at just the right time. Thank you for sharing this tender moment with us!


  12. […] If you’ve read some of my recent slices, you may have noticed that my husband is into a “clearing out” phase now that we’re empty nesters. I’m resisting. Just a little. Cleaning out the house can feel liberating (Yes, I know these are just things.) and can yield some interesting discoveries (ew!), but all these things he wants to trash/sell/giveaway come with memories attached. (See slices here, and here) […]


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