I wanted to take a moment and share with you all of the things that I learned from her.
Connie was the mother of three rotten boys. ( love you three but you are rotten as hell ). My sister and I loved going to Aunt Connie’s because she always had special surprises for us. She was very much a girlie girl and loved buying things for Kristin and I. I can’t decide who was more excited about the presents, her or us. The gifts were always in the front closet, she snuck us there like it was a really special secret. It was always very sparkly or over the top. We were her girls and I know when she went shopping she couldn’t help but look for our next surprise.
I also remember a favorite Connie Christmas present. I opened it and thought it was the most beautiful pink dress I had ever seen. She giggled because it was actually a nightgown. I think I was surprised you could wear something so beautiful to sleep! I think that was then I started learning to be a princess….
Aunt Connie and I had similar lives in that we married wrong and had to find the strength and courage to know that and leave. Before I knew I shouldn’t be married anymore she said something to me. It was something little – “I know and let me know if you want to talk”. It was sweet and small but I felt someone understood me and would be there if I needed her. Before I got divorced she told me another very Connie lesson. She told me to wear red to court. Why you ask? She said “Red is confident and strong. It shows power and those are all the things you are.” I am not sure I wore red that day. But I do know, that the days I need to feel confident, or own the room red is the color I go with. Red has always and will always represent her to me.
She was a successful working woman. Always busy, social and always here and there. She often packed her crazy boys up and headed to the beach alone. She would get in the mood and decide to pack up and take off. I loved that about her! I loved that she lived life to the fullest and if she wanted to do something she did it. I loved that she wasn’t afraid and was confident enough to pack up and go and live. The summer before last I had the urge to take the littles to the beach and see one of my very best friends. I couldn’t decide if I was going to take them alone 12 hours in the car? But I wanted to go and I decided to do it. I packed up, I took Miss Ashley to help me in the car and headed for the beach. My cousin after said that when he saw that I had headed to the beach on a whim it made him think, “that was something his mom would do.” Yup, perfect compliment. I hadn’t thought about it until he said it but I loved that he compared us!
” You can’t be over -dressed only under -dressed.” If you know me, you know I love to dress up. LOVE… I was always over dressed at school, work, college…. At a family function I mentioned I felt a little over dressed and she assured me there wasn’t such a thing. I loved that about her and I must say, it was true she was never under-dressed. She always looked perfect and put together. This didn’t change when she had cancer. I think even on some of her worst days she pulled herself together. She bought wigs of every color, and had jokes for going from the blonde she was to the foxy redhead. Two days before she died she got a mani and a pedi… Hello! Of course she did. Sometimes I did wonder if she was dressed up, beautiful and put together for us when she was sick. Which leads me to her next lesson….
She had cancer and I think she knew more than she was letting on about how bad she was. But her spirits were always high, for us and because I think it is the best way to fight it. Don’t let it take you, not while you are living and breathing. Don’t let it take you, until it actually does. She worked, she showed up, she planned parties, she vacationed, she shopped , and she drove herself to chemo. She had good times and terrible times but she was always happy with us. She wanted us to be okay. She always worried about everyone else.
Before I wrote this tonight I got on Facebook. She always messaged me and I wanted to read our conversations. One message I mention being crazy, and her response was you “You are not crazy; you are a busy wife, mother, sister, daughter, successful career woman and an inspiration to every single woman who knows you. ” Those are all the things she was. She was very much an inspiration! Another message telling me always to look for the good and not to focus on the negative. She said there is so much good, focus on that. Or the message telling me to work on patience. A virtue she said we both need to work on. The most amazing thing about reading all of this tonight, were they were all things I needed to be reminded of. So funny that even now, just at the right moment she is here and teaching me.
In my messages she called me Princess. I have to say I learned from the very best!
Love and Miss you Princess in the sky!!! K