The Beauty of Tradition: A Veil, Her Eyes and A Small Girl’s Soul

I went to sleep the other night…. the mother of the sweet baby girl.  Born with a full head of dark brown hair, brown eyes reminiscent of milk chocolate…. a smile that can make you melt. She toddled through my dreams saying her first word, ‘bit’ for blanket, holding my hand, snuggling into my bed and sucking her thumb.

When I woke, I found this….


An angel of a girl, no longer toddling…. full of questions, spunky, sassy and with freckles that I have spent hours trying to memorize like astromers do their favorite constellations.

This weekend, Delaney will make her First Communion… an incredibly important step in the Catholic faith.  She has spent the better part of her second grade year preparing for it.  This feels like her first ‘grown up’ moment.  We have had so many beautiful, meaningful conversations surrounding what will happen for her this weekend.  She is taking it all so seriously…

And another part of the treasure for me comes steeped in tradition.  The veil you see on her sweet head is over 100 years old.

I wore it on my First Communion.

Danielle's First Communion 1981

So did my mother.

My Mom's First Communion 1957

And so did my grandmother.

And that veil?  Was created from my great-grandmother’s wedding veil.

Delaney and I took these pictures as a ‘trial-run’…. she chose her own dress, but allowed me to be the stylist for her hair and veil (though having her hair done does not rank high on my tom-boy’s list of things to do).

She was so reverent about the veil, took such good care as we moved around outide and was so beautifully spirited…..choosing different poses and enjoying every moment with me.

I’m going to watch her on Sunday…. walk down the aisle of the church…. in that dress and veil.  She will still be seven when she walks out the door, but she will have carried on a glorious family tradition and given me one more memory to decorate my dreams as she gets a little older day-by-day.


  • Missy Rose Ewing

    What a beautiful, wonderful tradition to carry on with your daughter. I hope her day tomorrow is truly a blessing.

  • Linda

    What a lovely tradition of wearing a veil from generations past. I still remember my First Communion, picking out my dress at the Lady of the Snows gift shop, and practicing taking Communion with pieces of bread. Lifelong memories were made today for both you and Delaney. 

  • Pete

    Just ran across the site related to your book, then found this site as well. What a great story Danielle, and an equally great tradition. Hope Delaney’s event went off without a hitch.

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  • Danielle Smith

    Thank you so much, Missy – it truly was a treasure….

  • Danielle Smith

    I so appreciate that, Linda – I have a feeling Delaney will remember the ‘practicing’ for a long time as well. She wasn’t such a fan….But how many 7 year olds are? :) I let her pick out her dress as well…. it was a special time for us.  I will never forget how lovely she was…

  • Danielle Smith

    Thank you so much, Pete…. the tradition was very special.  Delaney was glorious….. her goal was to look just as I did… at least until the ceremony was over and then she reverted to her ‘tomboy’ ways and the dress and veil quickly became a thing of the past.  I appreciate you taking the time to read the post….

  • Colleen Padilla

    Danielle – it was so wonderful to see you this past weekend and meet you kids. They are beautiful and these photos of Delaney at her communion are precious – I saw them on FB last week but only now read the story about the Veil. AMAZING! xoxo

  • Danielle Smith

    Oh Colleen – was so wonderful to see you – thank you so very much for your sweet comments… it was a very special day.  Hope I see you again soon!