I first met Monica when our children were at preschool together. As I dropped my then 4 year-old Theo off, she would be there saying her goodbyes to her 2 year-old Diana. From the first time I met her, I admired how exquisitely dressed she always was first thing in the morning. I was usually wearing my walking/yoga gear as I exercised right after dropping Theo, while Monica always looked ready for a party, in beautifully tailored blouses and jackets, fabulous high-heeled shoes and bold, silver jewelry. When there was time, we’d occasionally chat for a few minutes, and I found out that she was a fashion designer working with some major labels while also developing her own line of elegant and romantic women’s apparel. I was very impressed by her creativity and glamor, but even more than that, I admired the positive energy she always seemed to exude when we met. In fact, I liked her so much that when it was time for us to leave the preschool, I told her I really wanted to stay friends somehow. Fortunately, this worked out, as she and her husband Chris and their daughter Diana (all previously mentioned in this blog!) moved into a house on our street and became our wonderful neighbors.
Even though we only live two doors away from each other, however, I very rarely see Monica for more than a few minutes at a time. This is in part because Monica’s work schedule had her flying to China for several weeks at a time a few times a year, and when she’s back here, her plate is very full. Fortunately, the China position drew to a close and now she will be home more. We have been meaning to walk together around the lake, and once I’m up to it again we’ll schedule that for sure. In the meantime, Monica has been sending sweet texts and emails wishing me well and today she stopped in to see us all. I have been saving a neat little jacket for Monica because it is something so artistic that not many other people could wear it. Made from extremely thin, dark blue fabric, the jacket looks like it has been pieced together from paper, its long fibers swirling around to create surface pattern on the cloth. It’s very delicate but I have managed to wear it without shredding it, it must be fairly tough. When she tried it on, it fit her perfectly. In ways that I would never have the confidence to try, I imagine her matching it cleverly with the right t-shirt, skinny pants and necklace and wowing people in it with the strong, beautiful, intelligent style that is uniquely hers.