I’ve had a pretty heavy heart over the last week after hearing about the horrific and hate-filled shooting in Charleston. The people of Charleston and the city itself have brought nothing but love, laughter, and joy to my family for nearly 30 years. I’m truly heartsick for the city where I married the love of my life, bond with my family every summer, take in the southern hospitality, and visit with the amazing people that call Charleston home.
Charleston has always been an extremely happy place for me and my family. We went to the beach just outside of the city for the first time when I was in second grade, just weeks before Hurricane Hugo absolutely wreaked havoc on the Lowcountry and the city of Charleston. We went back for one week most summers, and I seriously considered going to the College of Charleston when I graduated high school (eons ago). My parents kept going even when my brother and I couldn’t because of school or jobs. But then, it just became “our thing.” No matter what, my brother, my sis-in-law, and I would get there for a week of pure bliss: sun, surf, sand, and my doting parents.
My senior year of college, I met Jeff, who for some reason really clicked with not just me, but my entire family. He even made it through a week in Charleston with my entire family about 6 months after we met. (My dad made him sleep on an over-turned inflatable boat that had an air leak. Just a little test “dad test”… I think…). A few years later, we were married downtown right across from the old City Market. These days, we still go, but most of my time is spent watching my own kids play in the sand with my nephews, soak up the sight of my parents indulging my babies, and just spend the week loving everything about the Charleston area.
So – I’d always planned on wearing the “Rainbow Row” jams that I designed, but after the horrific attack last week, it’s less about just a fun manicure in honor of vacation and a lot more about wearing something that reminds me that the city is beautiful, its people resilient, and despite the hate-filled moments of last week, an amazing place for me to continue watching my little family make memories. No amount of hate and violence can destroy that.