This one’s for Phyllis.

The mother/mother-in-law of our closest friends passed away on Sunday morning after a fast and furious battle with pancreatic cancer. She was diagnosed in late January, went through two rounds of treatment including both chemotherapy and radiation, and deteriorated rapidly in the past month. She was only 59.

This was a woman of extraordinary physical beauty, I mean a real knock-out. The kind of woman who, after people would meet her, they’d turn to Dom and say, “That’s your mom? . . . Wow.”  And just a few years ago, they would’ve said, “That’s your mom? . . . Damn!”  That was what you noticed about her first; there was no way not to. But she was warm and sweet and tons of fun. You could tell she surrounded herself with friends who laughed hard and loved hard. She adored her two granddaughters and you know they would have just loved having a grandma who let them be glamorous and extravagent and maybe a little bit naughty, experimenting with make-up or highlighting their hair long before their mother would have allowed such things.

Back in the day

Back in the day

But I was struck today, as we were driving home from her funeral, with the fact that she, as a beautician and stylist, spent her life making other people look and — this is important — feel beautiful. She, who must have always been the prettiest one in a room, gave that gift to so many others, even if it was just through a great, but temporary, haircut. She was spreading the wealth, in her own special way.

With Lola a few years ago

With Lola a few years ago

So this one’s for Phyllis. And for all those who knew her and loved her, especially Dom and Christie and Braedan’s future wife Lola. And for those who will never really have the chance to know her and love her, especially Austin’s future wife Olive.

Her life was cut short, there’s no doubt of that. But those she leaves behind feel lucky today, lucky to have had her while they did.

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