That sweet girl gave me her dress; but she was a year younger and a size smaller than me. The dress fit my little sister perfectly and she wore it the next day to church. She borrowed shoes from a neighbor, as did several other siblings. My Mother's younger sister was living in Orem at the time and she brought over a few dresses and pairs of shoes for us to borrow for church as well. We managed to piece together clothes enough to make the family presentable. As is traditional in many places, a lot of the families at church were dressed up in new Easter clothes. It made our bedraggled state stand out a little more than it would have on a regular Sunday. But it didn't matter to us. I had my Beehive friends there to sympathize with me, and although I felt a little self-conscious tottering around on my aunt's high shoes, wearing a dress that was not a teen-ager style, I wouldn't have thought of missing church.
We did not have insurance. Replacing what we had lost was not going to happen any time soon. School the next day was a challenge. I literally had no shoes of my own. Some of my siblings had older play shoes that they hadn't brought on the trip. My recent growth spurt had pushed me out of any of my older clothes and shoes--except for a grubby pair of jeans I had been wearing on the trip and a favorite shirt that I happened to be wearing on the trip as well. It wasn't cool back then to wear ratty jeans (I know--hard to believe!) --we were expected to dress nice for school. But I went in that and the high heels from my aunt. I got some funny looks and I felt pretty klutzy in the shoes clomping around Orem Jr. High.
My 14th birthday was that Tuesday. There would be no birthday celebration. We were destitute and my parents were focused on finding some sort of replacement for the car.
Tuesday afternoon, my Beehive class and advisor showed up on my doorstep with a birthday gift for me. They all crowded into our living room and sang "Happy Birthday" and watched excitedly as I opened the present. It was a very cute green jumpsuit. with a matching shirt and a pretty "J" necklace (those were all the rage at the moment). They had pooled their money to buy a fellow Beehive-in-need some much needed clothes. It was truly an act of love.
Later that week, after wearing the green jumpsuit 3 days in a row, I got a letter from my Grandpa Hansen. Enclosed was a check for $50. He wrote: "You looked so sweet in that new dress, I am sorry you lost it in the fire. Take this and buy yourself another dress." Shoes were a more immediate need, and underwear and socks for me and my siblings. So the dress did not get replaced.
But, as you know, this wasn't about the dress.