What was once a garment that represented one of the happiest days of my life is now hiding in the back of my wardrobe, zipped away in a bag, as if it had died its own death.
And hadn’t it?
My marriage took its last breath just over six months ago.
Although made up of layers and layers of fluffy tulle, my dress was easy to hide behind the closed closet door. As more clothes filled my wardrobe the great big white dress seemed to shrink smaller and smaller, and that suited me just fine.
Listen to Bridget talk about the end of her relationship here:
I was at the other end of the house, but my ears pricked up at rustling sound coming from my bedroom. As I began to walk towards my door, the sharp sound of that zip slowly being pulled made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
“Mummy, is this your wedding dress?” a little muffled voice called from inside my wardrobe.
I stood still, took a breath and quietly replied ‘Yes darling, it is.’
As I pulled open the other side of my wardrobe door and saw my daughter standing in among the clothes with her hand touching the white glittery bodice, her fingers gently stroking the delicate beadwork and the very fibres that held the memories of my wedding day. It still looked just as beautiful as the day I first saw it.
I quickly grabbed her hand and tried to coax her out of the wardrobe, making up excuses as if I were desperately trying to get out of being on trial before a judge.
The questions came rolling out like bullets one after the other.
“Mummy, can you try it on?'”
“Where’s the photo of you in that dress?”
“Can I try it on, mummy!”
I internally cursed my daughter’s incredible memory, because she was clearly remembering that one rainy day we played dress ups while watching my wedding DVD. Her in my wedding veil, me swirling around being silly in my tulle skirt.
It was a memory I had pushed to the back of my mind, to a place that now holds the sharp, jagged-edged broken pieces of my failed marriage.
The bombarding questions were now coming thick and fast, and her tone was getting louder and more high-pitched as she so desperately wanted to see it in all its glory.
She began unraveling the layers of fabric from the bag and with a firm grip, trying to pull it out into the sunlight.
I didn’t want to see it.
I had for these past months forgotten its existence, allowing it to become a secret within my home that was once filled with happy family moments.
She begged and tugged at my shirt, the weight of my almost 5-year-old suddenly felt like ten tonnes of bricks pulling me towards the floor.
“No, okay? Just NO!” I snapped.
Her little face dropped. Her eyes began to well.
And then came the inevitable yet surprisingly quiet response, “But, why?”
Right there I wanted to collapse in a heap. That was the very question I had been asking since the day my marriage ended.
Why didn’t we make it? Why did things end the way they did? Why wasn’t I enough? Why had we become just another statistic?
Watch some of the Mamamia staff reveal the moment they knew it was time for a divorce. Post continues after video…
As she finally let go of the dress, I scooped her into my arms and looked at her, both of us now teary, “Because I think you and I should get ready and go get an ice cream!”
And that was that. I had successfully managed to dodge the questions I didn’t yet know the answers to.
I know there will come a day where ice cream will not be able to get me off the hook.
So the dress was zipped back up, and pushed back into the corner of my wardrobe, waiting to be discovered again.
But for now, the one thing I do know is…
I am grateful for chocolate chip ice cream.
Is sibling rivalry good for us? Should little kids be nude at the beach? And when should your kids discover what a ‘hangover’ is? Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess on iTunes or here: