A Favor to Ask and A Story to Tell

The Favor First.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts as Donna and I walked the 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago, you may have noticed that my Mom, Patricia (Pat) Stoner, commented every time. She was often the first to do so!

Many of you have shared with me how much you enjoyed reading her comments.

Well, TODAY, Thursday, Sept. 29 is her 90th (yes, ninetieth) birthday.

She doesn’t do Facebook, and I would just love it if you could enter a comment here,  wishing her, “Happy Birthday, Pat” today. I’ll make sure she sees them!

The Story I’ve Been Meaning to Tell

Here’s my mom a year ago at my daughter’s wedding.

And here’s my mom on HER wedding day, 65 years ago.


Here’s me on my wedding day 45 years ago.

OK, Connect the Dots, Terri.

Almost. There’s one more picture, and then the story.

Here are my grandsons, Connor and Colton carrying ring bearer pillows that I made from my mom’s wedding dress and mine.

Yes, you read that correctly.

I, Terri Langhans, the most un-crafty person on the planet. cut up two wedding dresses and made pillows from them. 

Mom dug into the cedar chest at the end of her bed and did not hesitate to say YES when I floated the idea of making the pillows. Zoom in and you’ll see my dear, departed dad on their wedding photo.

My wedding dress is the problem. 

My wedding reception was at my parents’ home, the one I grew up in, in Rossmoor (Los Alamitos), California. Because that’s how we did it back then. John and I walked in the door, and my boss and work friends were the first ones we greeted. My boss proceeded to hug me and spill his beer down the front of my wedding dress. Oh well, it didn’t really show for the rest of the night. 

However, I never had my dress cleaned, boxed or “preserved,” so I knew it was not going to be handed down. And really–how many brides these days want to walk down the aisle covered from chin to wrist to floor-length hem anyway?

So, when John and I downsized to our Long Beach home, I cut my dress up, saved the lace of the veil and the bodice of the dress in a big zip lock bag. I’d heard about mothers of brides having their daughter’s garter made from Mom’s wedding dress. That was about all I was going to be able to contribute, I figured.

When you don’t preserve your wedding dress.


Mom’s dress is aged and yellow now, too.


Quilt soap. Lots of soaks, rinse and repeat. Mom’s full dress and my “pieces.”

Time to cut. Gulp.


So much satin. Now or never.


Pillow in place. Lace pinned.

Hand embroidered. Labor of Love. 

Thank you, Mom. 

For everything. I love you, Mama Mia  

And happy birthday  



49 Replies to “A Favor to Ask and A Story to Tell”

  1. Happy 90th Birthday, Patricia (Pat) Stoner! Trust you had a great day Sept-29th, a great month and your best year ever! You were such a support and contribution to Terri and her friend on the Camino. I want to be more like you.

    We enjoyed all your thoughtful comments to Terri and Donna as they were on the Camino. You are a very special lady with a very special daughter!

    Keep on keeping on

  3. I don’t know what else to say but thank all of you so much for responding to Terri’s favor. You are all correct, she is amazing and I am so proud of her. Of course some of you I probably have never met but that’s okay. It was so nice to meet so many of Terri’s friends. Thanks for making my birthday something really special.


  4. Happy 90th Birthday. What a wonderful journey for you and your family. Terri is a very special lady and I am guessing she gets a lot of that from you. God bless you and keep you. The memories of the wedding dresses are exceptional.

  5. A Very Happy Birthday Pat! Wishing you a wonder day. Loved reading your comments on your daughter, Terri’s, Blog. She’s a beautiful, loving daughter you can be proud of!!


  6. Happy 90th birthday, “Mrs. Stoner”! You were such an important part of my life in Girl Scouts… I still remember the great field trips to the USC dental school, Weber’s bread bakery, and your many other encouragements during those years. What a gift to share Terri’s journey and cheer her on every morning. You are still beautiful and engaged in life. I hope you have a wonderful year ahead. The wedding dress story is wonderful, too! I’m so glad Terri asked for this, as I was thinking about your daily posts and how lucky she is to have your love and support still! All the best – Kim

  7. Happy Happy Birthday, Pat and what a celebration with 3 generations– not to mentioned, 3 generations of wedding dresses put to good use…. the latter for the resent wedding. BY THE WAY: you all are GORGEOUS

  8. Happy birthday to you, Pat!!
    I wish you many many continued blessings in this next year. And, of course, a grand celebration today and this week.
    I, too, loved following the blogged adventures of Terri and Donna . The wedding dress pillow story is especially touching.
    Happy birthday!❤️🎂🍸

  9. I know you have been anxious to get my comments on your latest Blog but here it is almost 8:30 am and I have finally been able to get my thoughts together. Your are absolutely amazing!! I have been celebrating since yesterday in some fashion. Had a dental appointment to have my teeth cleaned and when I got there they gave me a Happy Birthday Balloon and a fully decorated sinful doughnut which I of course ate as soon as I got home.

    I have to say that I am the most thankful for the “love” that all of my family shares. I look forward to celebrating the next “milestone birthday” it should be a BLAST.

    Love to all, Mom

  10. Wishing my “Mom” the happiest of birthdays!!! ❤️❤️ Congratulations on being 90!! Hope you make the most of it….because you should! Thank You to you and “dad” for all the great times you gave me in my junior & high school years. Truly some of my best memories. Know Terri & I were not the quietist after midnight!!😂😂
    Terri the pillows are truly keepsakes. An amazing job (but you could always fix my home-ec sewing disasters).
    May all the family have fun celebrating 90. And let brother John know I say “hi”!! I have so many happy memories with you all. All of you are forever in my heart!!🥰❤️❤️
    Love to All

  11. Happy 90th Birthday.
    I really enjoyed Terri’s posts. The pictures of Donna and her were great.
    Enjoy you special day.
    [I work on the HOA board with Terri]

  12. Happy 90th Birthday Pat‼️🎂🎉❤️🥂Enjoy your special day to the fullest. You have an amazing daughter, Terri who is a friend of mine. You should be very proud of her as she is of you. It was fun reading your posts after Terri’s walk everyday.
    Your wedding dress is beautiful and what a neat thing Terri did when she made two pillows out of your dress and hers‼️
    Sending birthday wishes and prayers to you on your special day.
    Joyce Jensen

  13. How fabulous, Teri, that you have such a wonderful family and a loving mother. Happy BD, Pat!

    And, I LOVE the idea of the pillows.

  14. Oh Mama! You are my Mama 2, and I love you. (Even rhymes!)

    Happy Birthday … Sending you a bazillion, big, bear hugs with love!

    I love you,
    always have,
    always will.

  15. Happiest of birthday wishes to your sweet mom, Pat! Happy 90th! 🎉🎂(My father turned 90 in July) ❤️
    The pillows you made are very special, sentimental and beautiful!

  16. Terri,
    I read every post and enjoyed them all, especially the comments from MOM.
    You are all such an inspiration!

    Happy Birthday to Pat Stoner!!

  17. Happy birthday to a very special lady. We just played hand and foot last night with friends and of course used Mother Stoners rules. Have a fabulous birthday.

  18. Happy birthday to a very special lady. We just played hand and foot last night with friends and of course used Mother Stoners rules. Have a fabulous day🎉🎉🎉🎉

  19. Pat,
    Happy birthday to you…happy birthday to you…happy birthday dear Pat…happy birthday to you!
    Have a great one

  20. Happy Birthday Pat! I hope your day is filled with smiles and love. I’m Terri’s friend and also a big follower of her adventures.

  21. Wow!

    What a story and thank you for sharing. I am in awe.

    Pat, your legacy is a lasting legacy and I can only imagine how proud you must be of your family. How lucky am I to be an extended member.

    Thank you for who you are and what you stand for. May the next twelve months be one of the best of your life! May you listen well and laugh loud as you spend more time with those you love.

    Happy birthday Pat!

  22. Happy, happy birthday Pat! I hope you are covered with love, joy and blessings for the entire year. I am a friend of Terri’s, and a fiercely addicted Hand and Foot player.
    Love, Del

  23. Love this story – talk about re-purposing your dresses! Your mom’s wedding picture is beautiful then the photo of the three generations…awesome. Happy birthday Pat! Y’a done good in raising our Terri! We share the same wedding anniversary date of Nov 19th. But, I didn’t have some goof spill beer on my dress on my day!!!

  24. Greetings Patricia (Pat) Stoner,

    May you have a happy 90th birth day & spread your joy & love to your daughter & family. You must be doing many things right, you look happy & healthy.

    With Gratitude ~

  25. Lovely story and great tribute to PAT STONER. I want to wish you a very happy90 th birthday!!
    I’ve known Terri for maybe 15 years- business, friends and fellow Peregrina.
    Pat, you have much to celebrate with the legacy of wonderful women in your family! Feliz cumpleaños!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *