Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Turning Tragedy into Good

You may have seen this organization on Yahoo just a couple of weeks back. It's called "Dresses for Jake's Dates" and I think it's awesome. Now, keep in mind that all I actually know about this organization is what the Yahoo article told me and what I can see on their Facebook page  :)

Anyhow, I LOVE when people turn something tragic into something good. In this instance, the family of an infant boy named Jake, who died from SIDS, decided to start an organization where they collect fancy clothes for people to borrow when they can't afford a prom dress, etc. What a brilliant idea.

Here's why I love it.... my parents have 4 kids. Kids are expensive, lol, and although we NEVER went without, I'm pretty sure that large expenses like prom dresses had to be planned for. My sister and I always had amazing dresses, but being a parent myself, I hate to imagine being in a situation where I couldn't afford things like that, which are so important (especially to a high school girl!!!!!). 

Another reason why I love it.... I have a lot of respect for people who survive an unthinkable tragedy and instead of letting it make them angry and bitter, they make something good come out of it. I've been through awful stuff (my kid had cancer - enough said), and I KNOW how easy it can be to let the anger and unfairness of it all take hold of you, and how HARD it can be to put one foot in front of the other and just make it through the next 5 minutes of your life. I said terrible things to people who didn't deserve them out of anger and fear. I've seen how easily some things can rip a family apart. I was lucky - my family came out of it in one piece and we're in a much better place now, but not everyone is as lucky as we were. 

So, for others who make something good out of something awful, I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration.

The fact of the matter is, I had fancy dresses hanging up in my basement. I had already donated a bunch to a dress drive quite a few years ago (that's where my "stylish" high school dance dresses went), but I've been a bridesmaid quite a few times, and even though some of those dresses have been donated to places like Goodwill, I did have 4 more that were just hanging there.

They all have sentimental value (we girls and our dresses!). I have the complimentary bridesmaid dresses that my sister and I wore when our cousin (who has always been more like a third sister) got married a couple of years ago. My sister asked me to keep her dress and find someone to share it with. There's the dress that my mom bought me when I was a bridesmaid when she got remarried. My sister and I had matching dresses. They were so tropical and pretty. The wedding was on the ocean in California - we thought it was going to be warm and sunny but instead it rained and was SO WINDY. We were shivering and our teeth were chattering, but it was so worth it! There's also the dress that I wore when I was pregnant with my littlest one and was walking my biggest one down the aisle to stand up for my beautiful little sister on her wedding day. That dress is one that could be "worn again", but I haven't worn it since - the memories that it has are already too special. 

Actually, all the memories are too special - I don't want to record over them with anything else. Plus, I doubt they'll fit as well now as they did then! So, I won't wear them again, but I would love for someone else to. I would love for them to make some other girl feel beautiful. I don't have a daughter to save these for (and even if I did, I'm sure they would be SOOO out of style by the time she was old enough for them). 

I've been holding on to these dresses FOR their sentimental value for quite a while now (they've made it through two other sessions of donating), but when I read about this organization, I felt peace that this is where they should go. I don't know why - for all I know no one will ever choose them, but if the right girl comes along, they'll be waiting for her. Hopefully she can create memories for herself that are as awesome as the ones I have.

My dress for my cousin's wedding.
My sister's dress for our cousin's wedding.

The dress I wore for my mom's wedding.
MOH dress for my sister's wedding.

Here is the link for the Facebook page for Dresses for Jake's Dates if you're interested in learning more about the organization and what they do: http://www.facebook.com/DressesForJakesDates?fref=ts

There isn't anything else like this that I could find in my immediate area, so I am ok with shipping my dresses off to Oklahoma. I'm sure it helps that I feel like I can relate a little bit with making something good come out of something awful...


JoeandSherrill Garrett said...

This simply blessed my heart! Thank you for sharing our story! Love your blogs!!!

joshua said...

those dresses look familiar!