• Lilly

My Grandmother’s Dress



Today is my last full day in Scotland (for this trip) - I fly out of Glasgow in the morning. I’ll be spending the summer in my rural Maine hometown with my family, which I am looking forward to. As I think about another trip coming to a close, and about spending quality time with my family this summer, I am reminded of my grandmother. Gram was a rock in our family, a pillar in the community. She passed away 3 years ago, and it was her parting gift to me that funded my first trip to Scotland in October 2016. That trip radically changed my life.

A couple years ago, I was helping my cousin prepare for a yard sale, and we found this dress. It belonged to my grandmother. I decided to try it on, and was surprised to find that it fit. So, I kept it. It is a lovely connection to Gram and it suits my style as well. I’ve not worn it anywhere, but I think I should change that - its a darling dress.


As I think about family, it struck me that I am a lucky lady indeed. A rocky start in life (I was sexually abused by my birthfather, and spent 3 years in foster care) did not define me, and it did not break me. I was rescued by an amazing adoptive family - 2 loving parents who chose to keep my brother (my best friend) and me together. And an extended family and hometown that embraced us as their own. I don’t feel sorry for myself that I don’t get to hear my birthmother tell me how she felt seeing me for the first time, or watching me take my first steps, because I get to hear stories from the woman who chose me to be her daughter, despite 8 years of my childhood that she would never get to have with me. I get to hear memories from my cousin about how she remembers the day I walked through the door at the town hall where everyone was gathered to meet my brother and me for the first time. I was an unwanted 8 year old girl who was embraced by a community, and that is special. My cup is full.


And now, 30 years later, I’ve had people all over the world choose to follow me, to care about me, to invite me into their homes, send me gifts, support and encourage me along my journey. I have many faults - I struggle to keep up with communication from my fans, I sometimes don’t follow through with things I’ve announced plans to do when things get too tight financially. I often forget to respond to lovely comments. I’m raw and vulnerable, and sometimes I’m not all sunshine and roses. And yet, you all still choose me. That is such an honour to me. There are things I don’t tell everyone about my life, but no matter how frustrating life can be sometimes, I can always turn to my lovely group of followers for another reminder that my cup is full.


So as I lay my head on the pillow for yet another last night in Scotland, in the house of a family who has become so dear to me, I think again - this is all because of my grandmother’s gift. It is an honour to wear her dress, and I think it would make her happy to know the joy that I have found as a result of using her gift to follow my heart. Scotland has my heart, and I hope to be back later this year. But for now, its time to turn my attention to my family, and how lucky I am to get to reconnect with them for the summer. I will still post here every day, I have millions of photos and adventures to write about from this trip. Your news feed will still get plenty of Scotland from me!


Thank you all again, for choosing me and following my Scottish Wanderlust, you are the best :)


~~ Lilly ~~

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