Sunday, March 28, 2010

She said Yes!

     My friend, Ann Wheeler Burton, slipped away from this earth on New Year's Eve a little more than eight years ago and ran joyously through the veil that separates this world from the next to greet her Redeemer, her Savior, and the lover of her soul. She had fought the good fight, won the race and claimed the hard fought prize that awaited her in heaven. When she died, Ann left behind a husband, two sons, a daughter-in-law, a grandbaby-on-the-way and a nineteen-year-old daughter. In the fall of that year, when we realized that Ann would probably be headed to heaven soon, I pulled her aside and asked her if there was anything that she wanted to do, any loose ends that together perhaps we could tie up. She thought about it for a while and then came back to me with tears in her eyes as she said, "I am so sad that I will never see my daughter as a bride." It was the cry of a mother's heart for that event and all of the others that she would miss. I understood.   
    Shortly thereafter I called the precious lady who owns Arzelle's Bridal Shop and explained the situation to her. Arzelles graciously allowed us to set up an appointment and even agreed that I could take pictures of what was sure to be an emotional time. I did not tell Ann of the plan until just before we left for the appointment because her health vacillated tremendously from day to day. I had prayed long and hard for the sweet aroma of Christ to be with us as we stepped into a situation about which I was a little unsure. As long as I live, I don't think I will ever forget that day.
     When we arrived at the Salon, we were welcomed as the most privileged of guests. Despite the fact that it was a very busy Saturday, and there were happy brides coming and going with lots of squeals and laughter, we were treated with great gentleness and the utmost courtesy. Arzelles had set aside the largest dressing room for us and brought in an extra comfortable chair for Ann. My daughter accompanied us to keep the mood from becoming too somber for I knew that young women love nothing better than dreaming about weddings.   And who in the world wouldn't want to model a few wedding dresses, if given the chance.
     We were allowed to go through the carefully hung dresses to find several for Ann's daughter to try on. After several slightly hilarious choices, the room grew suddenly quiet as Ann's daughter pulled one particular gown over her head. It was a classically elegant wedding dress that had just a little touch of embellishment...a beautiful gown to be sure, but it was the look on both Ann and her daughter's face that took my breath away. There was a mother seeing her daughter as a bride. And there was a bride looking at a mother who was surely heaven bound. Somehow, with shaking hands, I snapped a photo that caught that moment on both of their faces. The daughter's reflection in the mirror with the mother in the background, tears filling her eyes, but held in check by a look of pure amazement and joy.
     And as Ann gazed at her daughter, I heard her quietly whisper, "Yes, oh yes."

Flash forward eight years: It is the twenty-seventh day of March in the year Two Thousand Ten. There are seventy-plus people crowded into a house anxiously awaiting the arrival of the bride-to-be and the groom. The picture below is dominated by a girlishly happy young woman with a beautifully radiant smile. It is not hard to see the love shining forth in her eyes as she gazes at her soon-to-be husband. See how her hand is tucked under her chin just so. She cannot contain the love that she has for this man that God has brought to her. And he feels the same. He has planned this special evening with no one but this young woman in the forefront of his mind. Folks have traveled from near and far to celebrate with the couple. I was honored to be there last night for this moment just as I was honored to be there many years ago. And as we waited expectantly for the groom-to-be to share his story of the proposal and the father-of-the-bride to offer his sweet toast, I heard another whisper, so very soft and joyous, saying, "Yes, oh yes, oh yes."


  1. We love you Mrs. Kathy! This was beautifully written and we were so happy that you were able to be there with us!!!

    -Chris & Amy

  2. Can't hold back the tears. I remember the telling of this story and how I cried then. Now there are tears of sweet sadness but laden with joy. I'm so happy for Amy and her groom. Ann is complete in our Lord's presence singing songs of praises for fulfilled dreams. Thanks for the telling.

  3. what a sweet memory to have for always. you were so considerate to think of such a precious idea for both ann and amy!

  4. did she wear the same dress, by chance??

  5. That day was the first thought that came to mind when Jim called to tell me the good news. Thank you again for making that special day for Ann and Amy. You are a blessing! from Ann's sister.

  6. Amazing grace. That's what we were singing as Ann crossed over from this world to the promised land. Such joy and sorrow mingled there. What an honor to see God's sweet grace at work through Amy and Chris's relationship. I can't help but hear the anthem of Amazing Grace when I look at this picture. "Yes, oh yes."

  7. I just read this and cried! I never knew this story....precious story.


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