My Wedding Dress
by Abbie Johnson Taylor
It was a mauve color. Reaching to my ankles, it had long sleeves and a low neckline. Kathleen, my sister-in-law, bought it for me as a birthday present the year my late husband Bill and I were married.
He proposed to me in January of 2005. At the time, he was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I, in Sheridan, Wyoming, where I still live and where he planned to move. In June of that year, I visited him in Fowler, where he held a barbecue to celebrate our engagement. Many of our relatives and friends were invited, including my brother and his family, who lived in New Mexico.
Because hotel accommodations in Fowler were limited, my brother and his family stayed in Pueblo, about twenty-five miles away. Kathleen and I went to a mall where she helped me pick out the dress and shoes to match.
On the day we were married, a sunny afternoon in September of 2005, I paced the upstairs hall in my grandmother’s house between the bathroom and my aunt’s old room, thinking Kathleen who’d agreed to be my matron of honor, had my dress at the motel where she, my brother, and their children were staying. The wedding would take place in Grandma’s back yard, and the ceremony was scheduled to start in half an hour. Already, I could hear guests arriving and music from the string duo Dad hired for the occasion. When the time came, would I have to parade down the aisle in my underwear?
At almost the last minute, Kathleen arrived with my brother and the kids. I then discovered that my wedding dress had been lying on my aunt’s old bed the whole time. Because of my limited vision, I hadn’t spotted it.
Later, as Dad escorted me down the aisle to the strains of Pachelbel’s Cannon, I didn’t see Bill, either. Earlier, he’d planned to go with friends to The Mint Bar. Was he still there, or had he developed cold feet after having too many drinks? Because he was totally blind, he couldn’t just jump in his car and hit the interstate, but still… Then, there he was, and I had no more worries.
In January of 2006, three months after we were married, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. I cared for him at home until he passed in October of 2012. After our wedding, my brother divorced Kathleen and remarried. But my wedding dress still hangs in my closet, and I’ll always cherish the memories.
About the Author
Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of two novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. She is currently working on another novel. Her work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet, The Writer’s Grapevine, and other publications. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming. Visit her website http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com.