In Loving Memory …

Jean's gift to me, her dramatic black hat

Jean’s gift to me, her dramatic black hat

It started with a message that my dear friend and next door neighbor, Jean, had passed away. A week later I was forced to put my darling cat Willie to sleep after he stopped responding to his medications. And last week I got the devastating news that Cheryl, my beloved sister-in-law, had unexpectedly lost her mother, Charmaine. It has been a painful time for me and for my family and I am having a hard time processing these losses. What I have been doing is gathering memories of them close to me like precious treasures.

My friend Jean was very stylish and we would often share stories about clothes and fashion trends from her days working in New York City. She had a subscription to Harper’s Bazaar and kept the back issues in her front hallway so that I could see them clearly when I entered her house. Not only did Jean save the magazines, but she saved her clothes and cared for them lovingly. Not long before Jean died she gave me her over-the-top black hat from Ann Taylor (that I think she wore to an outdoor garden party). It is very different from anything I wear but I love owning a bit of Jean and find myself thinking about wearing it someday to my own elegant party. In that moment I will think of Jean and smile – as I do with everyone so dear to me whom I have lost recently – in loving memory …

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