MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This is the time of year when many of us reflect on the reasons we’re thankful. For three sisters who grew up in St. Louis Park, they are thankful because they found something they never even knew they were looking for. A drive down memory lane led them to the surprise of a lifetime.

There was just something about the house that made the Boyle famimly decide it would be their home.

“We had just gotten married. I had just turned 30,” said Lorraine Boyle.

That was 36 years ago.

“A lot of things have changed. I have a little grey hair,” she said.

Like many families, as the memories piled up, so did the attic. But one box was not theirs; Lorraine had found it years ago.

“I lifted up the tissue paper and I peeked and I thought, ‘oh, it’s a wedding gown’ and, well, I just thought somebody, somebody’s gonna come for that someday,” she said.

Boyle says a few months ago she stumbled on the box again, but a voice inside her told her not to get rid of it.

The box was the farthest thing from Lorraine’s mind until the day after Thanksgiving. She and her family were having leftovers when she noticed something right outside. Two of the three Propper sisters were driving past her house. They’d grown up in that home.

They were slowly driving by when Lorraine waved at them.

“Lorraine opened the door and we explained who we were and she just so graciously let us in,” Cathy Propper said.

Cathy now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Ilene lives in New York City and Julie still lives in town. Together for Thanksgiving, the sisters were retracing their roots. They never expected to find anything.

“It was for your memories. Just for your memories,” Julie said.

Boyle took them to the attic.

“And she just said, ‘you know … maybe this is something you would be interested in looking at’ and right away I just knew it was my mother’s wedding dress,” Ilene said.

The discovery was well-timed. The Propper sisters lost their mom this past Sept. 5.

“We’re going through all this year of firsts without mom being present and she was such a strong presence in our lives for many, many years,” Cathy said.

“I think she’s up in heaven saying, ‘that is so funny, you guys,'” Ilene said.

Cathy is taking it back home to Madison, Wisconsin to get cleaned in hopes her 22-year-old daughter will one day wear it.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield