I saw the dress hanging on display, and I told my mom it was the dress I wanted Madeline to wear for our annual Easter brunch. She grabbed the hanger and bought it for her granddaughter.

A few days later, Madeline was invited to a birthday party. I put her in the yellow dress, even though I knew my mom would be peeved. I just wanted her to look pretty. Pretty dresses are made to be worn.

Maddie & the guitar

The color suited her happy personality. It made her eyes pop, and her hair look lighter. It was perfect.


I am so happy she wore it.

The first week after she was gone, the dress went everywhere I did. I clung to it and breathed in. It smelled like her, like baby wash and sunscreen and…something else I can’t put my finger on. Just HER. It smelled like her.

I realized the smell was going to go away if I wasn’t careful, so I gently folded it and put it in a sealed bag. I couldn’t bear the thought that her scent might disappear along with her.


Yesterday I bought it out, and let Annabel look at, touch, and smell it. We looked closely at the details on the dress.


We both gently touched the bows.


We ran the hem through our fingers.


After I pressed the dress to my face and breathed in, Annabel did the same. And she smiled.

And I smiled.

Then I carefully put the yellow dress back in its bag.