Sweater: Ann Taylor Loft;
Belt: Camp Rainey Mtn. store, Clayton, Ga.;
Tights, boots: Target.
I really liked reading your feedback from yesterday's post. It seems like many of you feel more inspired to dress up. I think it's the fashion blogging influence coming into play that also helps how I want to always wear dresses and skirts.
So, anyways, about this outfit. This is actually going to be very personal. While I usually like to keep the blog lighthearted, fun and mostly about style, this is one of those things that is probably worth mentioning because it had such a huge influence on my life.
Today would have been my father's 52nd birthday, and my family went to visit his grave to commemorate the day. He died of a heart attack a couple of years ago. I knew I wanted to wear a cheerful color and a pretty dress so I could feel better about getting through today. I actually felt a little weird taking outfit photos because it seemed strange to do so on such a poignant day, but I'm so used to taking outfit photos now that I couldn't bring myself to stop the routine.
I never know just how much to share personally here, but I feel like I've gotten to know you through your comments and your blogs, and that in a way, I want to share more of myself in this wonderful, friendly blogging community. Now that I'm talking about this on the blog, I'll probably talk about him a little more as the months go on. He was a cool guy.
One thought that went through my head today had to do with condolence cards. We got so many the week of and after his funeral, but one in particular sticks out and has brought a lot of comfort these last couple years. It was signed by his coworkers and it included a poem about death and how on a grave, there are always two dates -- the birth and death dates. The smallest part of the grave's inscription is the dash between those dates. It's the tiniest part but it's the most significant because it symbolizes the life spent between those years. The rest of the poem was about trying to make your own "dash" as big as possible.
It may sound a little sappy, but the card had a huge impact on me, and how I felt about my father's death.
Now that a couple of years have passed, I've made my peace with his death. I'm sad every once in a while, but I try to live better than I did before he died. The summer of his death and having to transition back to college that fall was the hardest period of my life, but at some point I stopped letting grief take control of me and I started to tackle what I wanted to do most. Since his death, I've done many things that I'm quite proud of: worked a few internships, got control of my diet, lived in NYC for a summer, graduated college, got married, para-sailed in Hawaii, just to name a few. Many of these events started out as ideas that loftily floated on my "someday" list of dreams, and over the last couple of years I tried to make them tangible and real.
I do have my own special way of honoring my dad: every year on the anniversary of his death (June 6), I cross something off my "bucket list" to honor his memory -- basically, live my life as big as possible because he taught me to do so. Two years ago, I went to the top of the Empire State building. One year ago, I watched the sunrise on Waikiki Beach with Jeremiah. I don't know where I'll be this year on June 6, but I will be doing something I've always said I wanted to do or see.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that grief can be a crippling, horrible thing.
Or it can be an agent of positive change.
It's all about figuring out how to master the dash.