Holy Holy

There were two different things about my Holy Communion dress.

1. It was brand new. Unlike most of my clothes which came from Mrs Marjoribanks over the street. Like my yellow hot pants,aw!  A secondhand bag of clothes was always so exciting.

2. I had to wear it more than just for my marriage to Christ. I had to wear it as a day dress and I wanted to. I thought it special and white and fine. I wore it on special trips to Sydney on the Newcastle Flyer. I wore it with white socks and my school shoes. Proud and not knowing that I was one of “those” kids.

It made me feel new and special. Now it’s old and yellowing like me and I wonder at my childhood and what makes us who we are. I wonder why I’ve kept it. Perhaps because I knew it was the only time I was ever going to get married. It was a quiet, calm divorce and we’re still on terms of understanding.I like ritual and I’m glad I know something of it, even if I’m long gone from those days.

I think mostly the lump in my throat aches from the suggestion that, I was once a little girl.

holy holy


  1. Shelley Scown says:

    1. A bag of second-hand clothes is still always, ALWAYS exciting at our house. A new item feels somewhat decadent/extravagant/evil, but O so thrilling.
    2a. I had pink hot pants with a butterfly on the bib.
    2b. and a grey pair (not favoured)
    2c. My mother chose my clothes, and I loathed and detested her favourite outfit for me, which was a red gingham wrap-around dress. I remember being stuffed into it (like I was sausage meat, as I uncharacteristically objected) for the family photos. The tension in my mothers face has been immortalised for all time.
    2d. I don’t remember ever having a special/adored/preferred dress, EVER. (I’ve just done a quick survey – my girls DID – a spotted nightie, a flamingo dress, a wave dress and a zebra velvet dress – I have clearly succeeded as a parent.)

    I am not Catholic but I still have guilt.
    We are all yellowing with age.
    We can remember being little girls and we have had little girls and one day we may have little grand girls and this is fine and good and right.

    And I love you.

  2. tanyasparke@mac.com says:

    Darling one,
    never have been, never will be sausage meat.
    Also, theres nothing like 10 Hail Mary’s and 2 Our Fathers to get you off the hook. Catholics never talk about the exit clause. Guilt schmilt!
    I love you too!

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