You may want to sit back and get comfortable -this may take a minute to explain. First off, I’d like to apologize to everyone who follows me for my inconsistency in putting a blog post out. The last couple of months have been a little difficult, and once I explain, hopefully you will all understand.
This month is Cancer Awareness Month, and I’ve never been more aware of it than I am this year.
Over the past year my sweet cousin Lori Crawford had battled triple negative breast cancer. She was diagnosed on September 16, 2016.
Lori was in my wedding (she and her sister Dana both) – they were my little flower girls back in 1980. It was a monumental day in my life, and I’m so glad that the girls were there to be part of it. After I got married, I moved off, and Lori grew up. She graduated high school and went off to college, where she joined a sorority and became a math teacher. She loved math, being a teacher in middle school and a cheerleading coach. She adored her students. From the day she was diagnosed and her treatments started, her goal was to get back to work, spending time with her sorority girls and hanging out with her sweet love, Andy. Each treatment, she fought through with grace and dignity and a lot of humor. When it came down to the fact that she was going to lose all her hair, she even took to Facebook Live and shaved her head for all of us to see. We all cheered her on telling her she would have the most stylish head wraps, because Lori was the “Accessory Queen”. Lori had a passion for glitter and shiny things, jewelry and handbags. One of her favorite brands was Kate Spade. In fact she celebrated her 35th birthday at the Kate Spade store in Dallas Texas. The party was thrown by all her teacher friends. Our common ground wasn’t in math – it could be found in our love for fashion.
I got the opportunity to go out and visit Lori about a month ago. If any of y’all followed my IG story, you know I drove my parents out to Dallas Texas (that’s where Lori lives). We had a wonderful trip and got to visit with my dad’s two sisters, more cousins and celebrate my mothers 80th birthday, as well as love on Lori. Her bright blue eyes were still radiant, and her beautiful smile shown even in the midst of this hardship. We laughed, and I told her how much I loved her and admired her strength and courage. She couldn’t wait to show me her jewelry collection and her cute apartment. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed, because her style was impeccable, and her apartment would be too. It was a mix of modern quaint and cozy.
Two days after we got to Dallas Lori went back in the hospital. We went to visit her there the remainder of the week. She knew practically everyone at the hospital. That was just who she was.
We left to head back to Atlanta. I said Goodbye and told Lori how much I loved her. It was hard!
I knew it would be the last time I would see her. Two days later Lori passed away. A week later we headed off to Tulsa, Oklahoma to celebrate Lori. We laughed, and we cried. She had planned it all out in “Lori Fashion” even down to the goodie bags she wanted handed out to everyone after her service.
Two weeks later as I sat in my home thinking wow, it’s been a stressful time and wondering how my Aunt, Uncle and cousins were doing I received an email. Unbelievably, it was from Kate Spade. I was shocked, and my thoughts went to Lori, who would have been so stoked to know her favorite brand had showed up to honor her. They wanted me to collaborate. They had no idea that all I saw in their contacting me was my Sweet Lori. I love you Girl. And miss you Big!
Location/High Museum of Art