One gorgeous bride-to-be's heart ached for her mother as her wedding drew closer and closer. Trying to soothe her grief, she came up with a tear-jerking plan.
We all go through milestones in our lives. The most obvious go from riding a bike, graduating college or university, and getting married.
Beyond the glamor of taking our training wheels off, throwing our caps up in the air, or walking down the aisle to an Ed Sheeran song, are the people around us -- the warm hug of sharing that next step with those you love.
DREAMING OF THE PERFECT DAY
Shelby Sander, who was getting married in 2018, had dreamed of her wedding day her entire life. In her own words, she expressed:
"Ever since I was a little girl, I have always dreamt about my fairy tale wedding that I would have one day. I had envisioned all the fun I would have planning this perfect day with my mom, sister, family, and friends."
Sadly, life doesn't always follow our plans no matter what we do. So, we have to accept that some of our beloved people will not be able to be there. We can also get creative, which Sander eventually chose to do.
But, even before she was engaged, Sander tried her best to include her mother, choosing to go wedding dress shopping with her.
This was because Sander's mom had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2011. Sadly by March 2016, not long before they were meant to go shopping, she had succumbed to it and passed away. She remembered:
"I knew that she was getting more and more sick and that our time together was coming short... I wanted to have that special moment there with my mom. And I knew Scott was going to be my husband one day."
Having not been able to include her mother on her wedding day or planning it at all, Sander was beyond distraught.
A LIGHTBULB MOMENT
The inconsolable daughter didn't just grieve her mother but the memories and moments she always wanted to have with her mom, which were now impossible. Sander said:
"It's really hard. I still feel the pain every single day that my mom isn't here. She doesn't get to experience my wedding. She doesn't get the joy of having grandchildren. Just the things in life that I was looking forward to doing with my mom."
But, doing her best to find something within a sad situation, Sander came up with an idea. After she got engaged in December 2017, she found a way to bring her mom to her wedding.
HONORING THE PAST
For her wedding in September 2018, Sander wanted to have the heart-shaped patch of her mom's wedding dress sewn onto her dress for her wedding.
NOT JUST A DRESS
But, before that, she chose to do a photoshoot of herself with Taylor Brooke Photography. Surprisingly, the vintage dress fit her like a glove, and she looked stunning in it! She took her father's breathe away, remembering:
said I looked just as beautiful as my mom did in the dress and that I would make her proud."
She also said that, while wearing the dress, there were so many different emotions running through her at the same time.
The area where they took the snapshots was called Heaven -- a perfect name for this photoshoot. The bride-to-be also spoke about how the gown may bring her good fortune, stating:
"My mom and dad had the perfect marriage, so there is definitely good luck in the dress."
She spoke about how these snapshots are not just pictures to her. Instead, she expressed how they told the story of love between her parents and their commitment to one another.
A PARENT'S NEVER-ENDING INFLUENCE
When she looks at her late mother's dress, she sees a symbol of love and commitment, which is a testament to how much influence one's parents have on their children.
Had she been brought up differently, would she have the deep desire to get married or have a wedding as she did? Or, devoid of that symbolic importance, would it not matter to her?
Either way, it is clear that parents mean a great deal to their children. They leave their mark upon them wherever they may go -- and so it is the parents' job to ensure that their kids reflect positivity, love, and grace as they eventually become adults.