Once upon a time there was a dressmaker. He was an expert craftsman and made beautiful dresses. He made dresses of different shapes and sizes, different fabrics and colors. One dress he made was for a little girl, and it was a beautiful dress.
The dress was much loved and worn whenever possible until one day it ripped.
The dress was still very beautiful, the fabric not faded, but ripped. The girl could not mend it and neither could her family, so they put it away in the dark.
Years would pass and someone, now and then, would find the dress.
“Oh! What a beautiful dress!” they would say, “but it is ripped and I do not know how to fix it.”
And so, they would put the dress away, back in the dark.
One day a woman found the dress hidden away.
“Oh! What a beautiful dress!” she said and then she noticed the rip. “Oh, but it is ripped! I am not a dressmaker and I am not good with a needle, but I can stitch.”
She took a needle and found some thread.
“My thread is not the right color,” she said, “and my stiches are not even, but I can mend this rip.”
She threaded her needle with the thread and began to mend the dress. There were times when she had to stop and take the thread out and start over, but she did not give up.
“There!” she said once her work was done, “It is whole!”
Once the dress was mended, she washed it and hung it up for another little girl to wear.
“Oh!” the little girl said, “What a beautiful dress!”
This was written several months ago and was inspired by two things, two people.
The first is a dear friend of mine who found me, hiding away in the dark, sad and alone and afraid of interacting with those who were not already close (and what a small number that was). She befriended me and even when we were only able to text, she would talk with me every week without fail, just to see how I was doing. She was genuine and sincere and everything I needed to know existed still today. She recently was married and I was very privileged to attend and watch her in her beautiful dress promise herself to her husband and he to her.
This story is dedicated to her.
The second person is my eldest niece. I had been struggling for a way to express my feelings concerning my friend. At the beginning of the year, I found a dress that had belonged to my niece’s mother. It was a beautiful turquoise dress that was very simple, but had been worn at least once by the majority of my sisters once it no longer fit my second eldest sister. Along the way, there was a rip that developed in one side. It wasn’t a long rip, but it was placed in such a way that the dress shouldn’t be worn. It was laced away by my mother to be mended at another time and then was lost. I found it earlier this year as stated above and realized that I could mend it. I did so (though like in the story, the thread isn’t quite right), I washed it and that same day that the rest of the story came to me, my niece had pulled the dress on for the first time to wear to church. Sitting in Sacrament Meeting, the rest of the story came to me later that day.
The Dressmaker made all of us so beautifully, using different patterns and styles and fabrics. We are each of us gorgeous and our colors do not fade, but we can become torn and ripped and dirty from wear in the world. Sometimes (too often) we are put away in the dark, sad and alone. There are those who find us, see that we are broken and for whatever reason (inability, indifference, being too torn themselves) they do not pull us out of the dark. Then there are those who come along and pull us out. They see that we are beautiful, even if we are torn or dirty and though they do not feel as if they can mend us or help us adequately, they still try and in the end, their love made all the difference.
Thank you, my friend, thank you for finding me in the dark and not focusing on how I was damaged, but instead how I was beautiful. You were not perfect, but you loved me and cared for me with a perfect love.