I am not ready for this.
The box has been sitting our bedroom for months. MONTHS.
She mailed it.
She entrusted me with it.
And I let it sit there, ignored.
I’ve heard all the stories. They are wonderful. I just am not ready.
I’m not myself. My house isn’t itself. We’re not there yet.
But fate has forced my hand.
With one email, that box had to be opened, because that dress had to continue on its journey. And it had to leave NOW.
There was no time for a photographer. There was no time for make up. There wasn’t even time for a shower.
Jenny and Kelly both said it would fit.
I sat in our bedroom and cried because I finally got the courage to try it on and there was no way even one hook was getting hooked. And there was no one around to hold it together, pin it, tape it…it was just me and this damn dress.
I hated it already.
I wanted to take a pair of scissors and cut it into a million pieces and mail it off to the next woman and tell her it’s all a LIE.
Sometimes magic doesn’t happen. Sometimes Lupus happens and your body is morphed into a cartoon like character whose only magic is to suck the joy out of the room.
But I tried anyway.
I had to.
This was my last shot with that damn dress.
So I decided that maybe, just maybe, if I could hook one hook UNDER my boobs I could somehow then spin it around like a bra and pull it over for ONE photo.
Standing in my bedroom with tears streaming down my face and the original red dress on backwards I pushes the corset below my breasts and attempted to hook just one of those hooks.
I threw my head up to the ceiling, closed my eyes and pulled the two sides together.
Magically one hook made it.
Now to turn the entire thing around.
Slowly, and painfully, I twisted the corset.
Inch by inch it moved, scraping me along the way to the point of drawing blood, until it was finally facing the right direction.
I pulled it up and over as best I could, grabbed my camera phone, and headed downstairs.
I walked over to my favorite jasmine vines and held out the camera as best as I could with one arm, while trying to stay in the dress with the other.
I didn’t want anyone to see.
Eyes shut tight, I took another breath. I tried to remember the woman inside. I tried to remember that no matter what, she is still in there and she is still sexy.
I took another breath.
I took one more look at the sky and realized I am fighting a battle and winning. I am a warrior. I am in here and unafraid.
I am Erin Elizabeth Kotecki Vest and I am beautiful.
I walked back upstairs.
I unhooked the one hook.
I packaged up the dress and sent it off to the next woman.
I cried again.
But this time for entirely different reasons.