The Teal Blue Dress

One of my favorite memories of growing up was the way my Mom would surprise my sister and me with new clothes. We grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but her favorite places to shop were in Chicago. My Dad honored her with this treat several times a year and as his travel schedule increased, she often drove there herself.

When I was seventeen and had a date for the Spring Prom at my high school, she planned a special shopping trip. Gone overnight, we anticipated her return. This particular trip entailed my Mom arriving home while we were in school. Always anxious to see her, I jumped off the school bus almost running down the gravel road to our house.

tealI called out to her as I entered and she responded with, “I’m in the back of the house.” I hurried down the hall and burst into the bedroom my sister and I shared. There, laying on my bed was a beautiful teal blue dress with sparkly crystal adorning the bodice. A soft, cuddly white coat lay next to it and new blue shoes completed the outfit. I was stunned with happiness as tears streaked my adolescent cheeks. Then I hugged my mother tightly for a long time.

Weeks later my date (some day to be my beloved husband) and I entered the dance hall. As heads turned, the lights caught my sparkly bodice and with excitement beating in my heart, I silently thanked my mother. Her inherent love of fashion and flair for clothing has stayed with me all of my adult life.

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

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