After a three-year battle against ovarian cancer, my mom passed on November 9, surrounded by loved ones. While my family knew her condition was worsening in the last months, we couldn’t have fathomed the pain of losing someone as extraordinary as my mother.
The services have now passed, family members have returned to their homes, and warm condolences continue to flood in, though I still can’t help but feel that I’m in an alternate dimension, where time alternatively stops or bleeds together. Memories of my mom young and carefree to those of her last days in the hospital continually flash back; I find myself lost as I search and long for her presence as equally as I’m comforted in knowing she’s in a far better place.
Earlier this year, when we learned my mom was no longer in remission and diagnosed with recurrent cancer, I worked hard to find appreciation in the time spent with her and the overwhelming love and support we received from our family and friends. And now, as I try to shift that perspective again, I realize my mom’s absence is just as powerful as her lasting presence.
Even though my heart aches deeply in knowing that my mom did not live to see my brother or I get married, or become a grandparent by my dad’s side, the beauty of her legacy by far overpowers the pains. The courage, generosity, and strength she instilled and inspired in so many lives assure me that she never lost her fight nor will we ever lose her in spirit.
“If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path toward happiness; don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present, each moment, as it comes, because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart…where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.”—Everwood (via creatingaquietmind)
“Pain is a by-product of life. That’s the truth. Life sometimes sucks. That’s true for everyone. But if you don’t face the pain and the suck, you don’t ever get the other things either. Laughter. Joy. Love. Pain passes, but those things are worth fighting for. Worth dying for.”—Vignette by Jim Butcher (via thatkindofwoman)
I was recently photographed by Hamburg-based blogger Anil for his fabulous dashing george blog. I’m normally shy in front of the camera (despite what my PR profession may tell you) but Anil was such a sweetheart and I love supporting fashion blogs, so I’m honored to be featured.
The post definitely captures my usual uniform — comfortable neutrals with a mix of relaxed, structured, feminine silhouettes/details, and of course, my go-to footwear, great booties. I don’t ever stray too far from these favorites, but as autumn approaches, I’m thinking about my fall/winter wardrobe and hoping to bring in more texture, prints, and color, particularly rich primary hues. Even though SF’s Indian summer is nearing, I can’t wait to embrace the fall season.
“As selfishly as the fact that I exist. As selfishly as my lungs breathe air. I breathe for my own necessity, for the fuel of my body, for my survival. I’ve given you not my sacrifice or my pity, but my ego and my naked need. This is the only way you can wish to be loved. This is the only way I can want you to love me…I want you whole, as I am, as you’ll remain in the battle you’ve chosen…You must learn not to be afraid of the world.”—The Fountainhead
I just learned of Talia Joy Castellano from the news of her death. She was a 13 year old girl who died from neuroblastoma and had been battling cancer since she was 7, but more importantly she touched millions through her fantastic makeup tutorial YouTube videos.
In seeing pictures and watching videos with Talia, it’s hard not to get choked up seeing such a young, bright girl get taken so early. Though as I continued to watch, I found myself smiling because she was such a joy and had a chance to do what she loves.
Her tutorial commentary is also just the greatest, in a video showing A New Years GLITTERLY Look!! she apologizes for chewing gum while filming: “I’m so sorry it looks really unladylike…but I was.”
While she has passed all too soon, it’s clear that Talia’s story will live on and continue to touch many, many others.
“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”—Cecil Beaton (via cavetocanvas)
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery—isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”—Charles Bukowski (via leslieseuffert)