The wedding dress

The week of half term we spent with my Dad had originally been booked in so that I we could help him declutter and removed some of all my sister and my ‘stuff’..  the stored stuff, the accumulated paraphernalia over the years.


I was at boarding school from the age of 10 until I left 6th form at 18.  In the 80’s, the only communication was through snail mail.  The phone was limited, one phone call a week with 10 pence to last a few minutes.


My Dad (and Mumbo) had kept ever letter they had ever received from me… and all the correspondence from them.  My Dad wrote religiously once a week, sometimes twice.  Mumbo was more sporadic, wrote on a whim or an emotion or if she had exciting news! … I found her first letter.  It made me cry… in an already emotional week, reading her words of kindness, of courage  and huge love as I embarked on a new journey alone, with new friends, in a new bed, created an overwhelming turmoil of emotion. Huge waves of grief and loss as she wasn’t there to tell me the same words again, to hold me and stroke my hair… and small pangs of anger.  Why me?  Why so much loss, grief, pain to be inflicted on me this year, in such a short space of time?


That one had to go back in the box with the hundreds of others for me to read when I had restored my resolve.


I did pick out one though and brought it home with me.  Perhaps the irony tweaked my attention, pinched at my sense of humour.  By the style of the writing and the phone number at the top, I think I must have been about 7 or 8.



‘Dear Father Christmas,

I would like a wedding dress and a wedding ring and shoes and leg warmers and pyjamas and a Sindy House with all the bits of pieces and clothes.

From Alison’.


32 years later I have all those things, even the leg warmers (neon for an 80’s party!).  In some ways I wish I could go back and whisper to my 8 year old self, as I wrote my letter and tell her she would have all those things….or would that spoil it, spoil the excitement?


As I remain, still suffering with the conflict of choices, the painful emotions, I wish my future self could come and whisper to me that I will get what I wish for now..


‘Dear Father Christmas,

I would like ….’


I am not sure … but just to know that it will be ok, that I will be ok.  That I will find joy and get my sparkle back.



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