Before I was born someone borrowed Mama's gown to wear in a parade. The borrower returned the gown soiled and torn. Mama always shook her head when she told the story, which she did every time she looked at her dress.
When I was a teenager Mama had me take photos of her posed in her gown around the house. I hope those weren't the only times she wore it.
I never thought to ask her: What was the story behind the dress? Did Daddy buy it for her? Did she own it before they were married? Did she think she'd go to a lot of fancy dances in America?
Back in December I went into a panic thinking I donated the red suitcase in which I stored the gown. Lucky me. I found the suitcase just where I put it behind the wheelchair in L St…