When my mom was in high school, her mom (my grandma Lauretta) was going through some old things of her mom’s (my great-grandma) and found a bunch of baby clothes. This dress was worn by my grandma Lauretta as a baby but missed my mom because it was packed away in storage. So my grandma gave them to my mom who held onto them until she had a daughter. That daughter was me (photo on left) and two years later she took my sister to get photos in the same dress (photo on right.) These photos are between 9-12 months of age. We’re pretty sure my youngest sister also has a photo in this dress but the 90’s were not digital yet so who knows what box or album they made their way into!
30 years later I had my first daughter and my mom let me borrow the dress to take some photos of Hilde. And then a year and a half later, I borrowed it yet again for some photos of Millie! The girls above wore their grandma’s baby dress but the girls below wore their great-grandma’s baby dress! How special is that?!
My Grandma Lauretta was born June 12, 1930 which, depending on when the dress was actually made, make the dress nearly 100 years old! You can definitely feel it in the fabric and I am always a bit of a stress ball trying to dress a wiggly baby in an one hundred year old dress! Hilde was younger when I took the photos so she just sat around but Millie was 11 months and desperately trying to walk everywhere so she kept pulling on the dress. She did rip it a bit (sorry mom!) but it was on a seam and my mom fixed it (thanks mom!!) Right now these are the only two granddaughters but we are hoping to get photos of all future granddaughters
My grandma died in 2004 when I turned 16. My girl’s never got the chance to meet her but they did get to wear her baby dress. In so many ways taking these photos feels like documenting history, recording heirlooms, and preserving memories. One day this dress will fall apart. Fabric wasn’t meant to last forever. In fact, Matthew 6:19-21 reminds us that nothing lasts forever – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
But memories and stories can be passed on. Photos help us tell those stories and that is why photography will always be important to me. The photos are not perfect and I wish I could redo Hilde’s photos with better lighting but I’m just so thankful we have the photos. We don’t have a photo of my grnadma in the dress and that breaks my heart a bit.
But more important than photos, we have each other. Thankful for my mom who is currently spending the day with these girl’s – making memories that they will be able to pass on to their kids. And a legacy of women who trust the Lord – with gentle and quite spirits and loud, deep laughs!