Ever since I read this page in The Costco Connection of May, 2012 I had this post in mind. Writing about The Little Black Dress and fond Childhood Memories of my dear Mom.
It is so true that FASHIONS COME and go but the timeless little black dress has survived decades of trends.
My Mom got married in a black dress in February of 1949. After WWII there was not much, therefore they had to postpone everything. Working hard and saving for their big day, finally after dating for seven years, my Parents could marry.
My sister Diny still has that wedding dress, a beautiful black rayon georgette.
When I was about 9 years old I had to travel by bus with my Mom each year for a check up for my eyes. That was in the city of Venlo, The Netherlands at the hospital where the eye doctor was. Afterwards Mom always went with me to the large department store of V&D, for a cup of coffee with something sweet. It was also for her a special day off. That was so much fun; just the TWO of us... At the next department store of C&A she found a beautiful Little Black Dress in velvet (also available in a Bordeaux color). Mom asked me to zip up the long zipper in the back, which I did. She loved to be elegant but it was nearly impossible with seven kids, me being the eldest. But I can close my eyes and see her turning proud and pretty in front of the mirror...
I found her SO beautiful, she radiated such happiness, just for a moment enjoying the other, more elegant world. Than she would ask me to open up the long zipper again and she stepped out of her Little Black Dress. Gone was the moment of glamour and luxury and with the bus she rode back into her own world of hard work in the greenhouses, on the fields and in the house. Never an escape, no vacations, pure devotion to her family. Nothing luxurious, but wearing her apron with pride and only on Sundays she would dress up, complete with an elegant hat for going to Church with us.
We are blessed for still having her with us, even with her limited freedom due to the kidney dialysis three times weekly.
My Mom... She lived a hard life, as during the Great Depression she was sent to a big farmstead as a maid; at the tender age of 14. Just imagine... being away from your Parents and on your own.
She worked hard and long days and her dream of studying and becoming a seamstress, never materialized. No money, no time and with WWII coming all dreams were shattered.
Everybody at that time had poverty, there was absolutely no luxury.
The young generation would not be able to live through such times.
In a way, my Parents have been away from their Parents as a teen. Dad too, at the age of 15, and they worked long days and for that they got food and shelter, a simple bed and a little pocket money. They still managed to save.
I have always admired Mom's skills from her great hand writing to knitting sweaters and socks. Also crocheting fine lace doilies or baking the most delicious pies for us on Sundays. She was a great cook and when we came walking home from school for lunch (12:00-13:30 o'clock) the smell of her home made tomato soup with sauteed onions made us put a spring in our steps.
On Sundays she cooked a soup that is still being served at fine restaurants and for weddings.
She felt so proud for feeding her family and I learned a lot from her!
A true role model and of course I wish she could have enjoyed her younger years more.
But she was not alone... so many of her age never had any luxuries.
There are even today many countries where there is nothing but the basics of life.
A good thing for pondering about, as once again our Thanksgiving is coming close.
A feast for family for being grateful to God for the love, the strength and high ethics that stayed with our Parents and Grandparents and let's pray we will keep their exemplary culture alive.
Closing with a photo where Mom is proudly wearing a beautiful brocade suit that we together found in Atlanta at the Outlet of JC Penney when they were in the USA with us. And I with my Apriori7 suit from the Escada Company Store.
This was at my Parents' garden.