You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

-Henry Drummond

She ran her hand gently over the smooth silk. The last of her ten, lovely creations! Letting her eyes roam around the room, she saw dress after dress, each as stunning as the next. And each had its own story to tell.

She remembered how blissfully she had made that crimson one. She had just been married then. Each little rosebud promised to bloom one day and uncountable sequins edged the rounded neckline. Tiny glass beads hung from the puffed sleeves, twinkling and winking under the light, as if they alone knew what was in store for her. Delicate lace trimmed the flared skirt. The dazzling gown was overflowing with a young bride's tender hopes for the future.

When her daughter was born, she had made the powder-pink one. Into each velvet ribbon, she stitched the joys of motherhood. She smiled sadly as she recalled how contented she had been then. Her own baby girl for her to pamper and care for! The dress had been made with her sweetie pie in mind. Although sewing on all the ruffles had been no easy feat, her love for her honey kept her going. Each embroidered violet daisy with its jade leaves was just for her to hold in her chubby fingers and smell with wonder and delight.

But of course, happiness was not to last for all eternity. Soon after, her mother's demise drowned her in a helpless state of sorrow. She was trapped in deep pools of swirling ink, lost and bewildered. It was then that she fashioned the midnight blue dress. In it she poured all her confusion and grief. Loss was the only thing on her mind as she blindly stitched each silver spangle into the cobalt material. She reminisced about those hours she had sat on the porch as still as a marble statue, needle in her hand as the flowing fabric spread around her like a lake of eddying waters.

Next came the stage where her daughter had started growing up. She was no longer Mommy's little girl. She felt an acute pang of regret and lamented as she remembered how little time she had spent with her only daughter. Most of her time had been spent reflecting on her mother's death, daydreaming, staring into space, and overnight, or so it seemed to her, her daughter had blossomed into a young lady. And she did not know her well. During that period, the lilac gown had been created. It was sleeveless, plain and simple, with only a few blooms embroidered here and there. It spoke of melancholy and glum; of all the fun, exciting things she had missed doing together with her daughter.

However, her daughter soon became a successful dancer, and motherly pride and affection was sewn into the next dress of baby blue. On it she embroidered images of her daughter leaping and twirling, performing exquisite steps on her toes. It was full of exuberance and life! The tulle skirt rustled becomingly in the wind, singing a melody of memories. Pearls adorned the neckline and formed the petals of a million flowers strewn on the bodice.

How well she remembered the time she had crafted the next dress! It was emerald green, green for jealousy. Her husband had had an affair with another younger woman. How distraught she had been when she had found out about it! She recalled raining all her frustration on her husband, screaming hysterically, behaving in a flustered manner, and pounding him heavily with her small, clenched fists. He left. Beads shaped like teardrops dangled from the neckline of the gown. Looking at them, she thought of all those times she had wept. At that point of time, her daughter had been her only source of comfort. She would hug her and wipe away the droplets upon her cheeks, soothing her with gentle words. She would whisper, "Don't cry, Mom. I'm here now. Don't cry."

Wedding bells rang. This time, it was her daughter's wedding. As a final present, she had created a dress especially for her beloved child. It was white satin, with another layer of polyester on top. Roses fashioned out of lace ornamented the puffed sleeves and sparkling sequins were stitched one by one onto the wide skirt. She had spent 2 entire months to complete it. As she bade her daughter farewell, she had handed her the dress. She had gasped in delight before throwing her arms around her mother, whispering, "Thank you, mom! I'll come visit soon."

She never came back. On the way for her honeymoon, the plane had crashed. Both she and her husband were killed instantly. She was stunned when she had heard the news. Rooted to the spot, she was silent for a minute before bursting into tears. The golden gown had been a result of her misery. Those times she had spent with her daughter were now only Golden Memories. Immersed in despair, tears had rolled down her wrinkled cheeks many times. The gown was elaborate as it held all memories that were precious to her.

She was old and tired. Her life now held no laughter ever since the passing away of her child. There was no one to bring her happiness and so, she passed time sewing another dress. It was sunshine yellow. Into it, she stitched all her dreams, what she wished she could do, what she could have done if her daughter were still around. Sequins of different shapes and sizes decorated the entire gown. Into each one she poured all her whims and fancies. When it was finally completed, the dress looked like a maze with the sequins sewn on carelessly here and there. Yet, she was satisfied.

And then, the last dress of them all. She could feel old age slowly and gradually overpowering her. Soon, she would be at its mercy. So, into her last creation, she weakly and feebly sewed a few pearls onto the silver skirt. Even as she did that, she could feel her strength ebbing away. When it was done at last, she gazed at it in wonder. Golden satin flowers and gleaming pearls embellished the elegant gown. It was perfect! It would be her last creation, for she was now too frail and fragile. At that moment, she could feel her life's flame being put out. Any time, she would be borne away to spend eternity with God in Heaven.

Now, as she gazed at her gorgeous collection, she realized that she had stitched her life story into the dresses. Each told of a significant incident in her life that meant the world to her. Without them, her life would no longer be completely hers. Smiling with satisfaction and contentment, she shut her eyes peacefully and slept for a very, very, very long time.