People plan what to wear to different special events all of the time. When you go out on a first date, you stare at your closet finding just the right outfit to wear. I went out and bought a new pair of jeans and a new shirt for our first date. When you meet the parents, you always make sure you have on the right outfit. Going out for a special, romantic dinner requires just the right outfit. Wedding dresses are probably the biggest clothing choice ever. The dress I picked out was the first one I tried on. I fell in love with it right away - kind of like how I fell in love with Sam right away. I knew it was the right one. I knew he was the right one. It took me forever to find an outfit for my job interview and my mom ended up bringing me to Bloomie's in the city and got me my dress that I absolutely love. It has a cute little leopard belt. Of course it has leopard! Would you expect anything different?
I don't think anyone ever plans what they are going to wear to their 30 year old husband's funeral. And that was the task that I was faced with. I thought about it but was too afraid to look in my closet because if I did, that meant that I had to find something to wear to my husband's funeral. If I put it off, it wasn't real. It was something I was dreading doing. But the day of his wake, I finally realized that I would have to wear something that nite and something the next morning for his funeral. When I opened my closet and looked in and saw all of Sam's clothes hanging on the right side, my heart sank. Then I looked over to the left side where my clothes hang. That is when I saw it hanging there. The red dress.
Sam always gave me the best presents. Whether it was something big like a computer or something small like a board game, it was always something I needed/loved. One year, for my birthday, Sam bought me 2 dresses. One was pink and one was red. I loved them both. They were very fitted, though, and they showed every single lump and bump. Sam loved the dresses and he loved me in them. When he and I attended the dinner for the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards, he asked me to wear it. I was afraid to because I was not confident enough after I had Owie. So I made up an excuse and told him that I would wear it when we go out to eat to celebrate his new lungs. It makes my heart hurt that I told him no. Especially knowing how much he loved me in that dress.
I was afraid. That has always been a problem for me. I have always been afraid of what others will think and what they will say. To me, about me, behind my back. And I don't know why I care. I spent so much time telling Sam to not worry about the people staring when he coughed. Ignore the people who watched him walk with his oxygen. Smile at the people who stared while he rode in the little scooters while we went grocery shopping together. It was so easy for me to tell him to not care what others thought, yet I spent so much of my time worrying about what others thought of me.
When my mom and my sister asked me what I was going to wear, I was afraid to tell them. I didn't want them to think I was crazy for wanting to wear a red dress to my husband's funeral. I did not want people to think I was the modern day Blanche Devereaux. They both gave me the same answer. It doesn't matter what other people think. It is your husband's funeral. If it was his favorite dress, if he loved you in that dress, wear it! And it was that simple. That is when I learned to stop caring what other people think. And that it why I wore red to my husband's funeral.
"Be who you are and say what you feel. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Dr. Seuss