Wednesday, August 31, 2011

She'd Appreciate the Bling

From mid June to mid August I was working tirelessly on a huge project for the office that I started two years ago. In the final stretch I was working mad hours that included one 76-hour work week. It was during this time that I discovered I must be a stress shopper. I guess I had never thought of it before. With my more recent forays into online shopping, this retail therapy became even more accessible, and over the past two months I’ve purchased about seven pairs of shoes. Luckily, two pairs didn’t fit and are going back.

Being all-consumed with work, I hadn’t seen my parents since Mother’s Day – quite a feat for our large, obnoxious and yet close family. I also had a shopping trip on the books for months to meet up with Kevin’s mom so we could raid the mall, San Moon and she could give me back my camera I kept leaving at her house.

On Saturday, Aug. 20, just a week after I launched my project and during my first trip home since Easter, I received a devastating call from Kevin’s cousin. Kevin’s mom, Bobbie, had passed away the night before from what we would later learn was a heart attack. I crumpled to the floor in my parents’ living room and thanked God that I was home for my mom to hold and comfort me. A woman I once thought would be a grandmother to my children hadn’t lived to meet the babies her sons will father.

So on Friday I donned my little black dress, a black and white flowered cardigan, a skinny, red, patent leather belt, my blingin’ flower bracelet (a Christmas gift from Bobbie’s Aunt June) and one of my only material gifts from Bobbie – a pair of small, crystal and opal hoop earrings. Then I slipped on my pair of retail-therapy black flats with crystal-covered toes. And when I sat with Kevin’s cousin in the pew at Bobbie’s service, she stroked my arm, handed me a tissue and said with red eyes and a half smile, “I like your shoes.” All I could say back was, “She’d appreciate the bling.”

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