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We Were Meant to Connect

Jill Alexander

Whenever I’m hit with a subject over and over again, I feel compelled to write about it.  I guess I feel as though it’s the universe’s way of tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “Hellooooo, this is important.”

About a month ago, I was working in our Scotts Valley, CA store, and one of our regular customers came in.  I greeted her with a hug and asked how she was doing.  She then proceeded to tell me that just after the last time she was in, she’d had a heart attack.  She was with her cousin, and they were spending the day together.  She started noticing that her feet were getting unusually red and hot.  It was odd enough that her cousin recommended taking her in to get checked.  Thank God for her cousin, because the doctor discovered that she had a significant blockage and immediately put in a stint.  The doctor told her that if she hadn’t come in, she probably would not have survived.  She was just coming by to give me a hug and share that story with me.  I was so touched and overwhelmed that all I could do was tear up, and hug her again. 

Almost two hours later, another regular customer came in and I noticed she was limping.  I asked her what had happened, and she told me that this was her first day out in two weeks.  She was driving to her water aerobics class and her tire blew.  She was on a windy mountain road and the force of the tire ran her off the road, down a steep incline and right into a tree.  She told me that by all rights, she should be dead.  She was in a Subaru, (I’m not being compensated by them), and believes that saved her life.  Then she proceeded to tell me that she had to stop in and give me a hug because she always feels so much better when she comes in.  Once again, I was speechless.

No joking, an hour after that, a third regular customer came in to let me know that she flatlined on the table during her back surgery!  I think I startled her when I grabbed her and cried, “You’re the third person to tell me a story like this today!” 

Now the overthinking Gemini in me kicked in.  After calling the manager of the Los Gatos, CA store to tell her I was locking up and going to get a drink, I thought, THREE IN ONE DAY!  What was the message here?  All three ladies had near death experiences.  All three ladies felt compelled to come by and share the intimate details with me.  All three ladies have touched my life, and were letting me know I’ve touched theirs.  I started to think about all of the women I meet daily.  The things they share with me, the stories they tell.  I know so many details about so many lives, and I'm in awe of how freely they open up and invite me in.  I could have never predicted that opening a women’s clothing store would create a place where women would share their experiences and make me a part of their journey.  I am so blessed that my obsession with fashion turned into something that I never intended it to be, a way to touch the lives of other women.

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  • laurie on

    I was very ill the first half of this year. When I was finally out and about your store was one of my first stops. I just got back from my first vacation in a long time, and wore something of yours almost every day. Feels so good feelin’ good again – thank you for being a part of that!

  • Ellen S. Pifer on

    Please tell us you got a check up and all is well. I kept thinking that’s where this story was heading…

  • Claudine Wildman on

    Thanks for sharing. Life is short. We need to make the most of it!

  • Amy on
    Jill I understand why these women tell you stories. I remember your lack of judgment and openness and caring when I came to your store. I live in LA now and I miss coming to see you. Getting ready to order something online. I noticed that all the dresses that I kept wear yours when I went through my clothing reduction process. I always like how I am like when I wear one of your dresses. Amy
  • Susan Maxfield on

    Hello Jill!
    Thanks for being you-approachable, interested and engaging. The day I shared my mountain road Subaru accident with you became my dear friend/sister. You were so connected, caring and present. Thank you.

    As you know, I am profoundly grateful to be alive!!! And I am also deeply grateful to connect with all that you are- and that is a long lovely list!
    Arms around you,

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