A Pair of Red High Heels
Today my life is a little bit more colorful, observant, full of laughter and consideration about the importance of independent women… Today I am much more aware of good music, great writing, and fabulous shoes… Today I see red high heels on anyone and they make me smile.
Nancy Lee Weeks, or Lee as her friends knew her, was one of the most outspoken, honest, and giving people I have had the honor of knowing. She breezed into my life 8 years ago and the first time I met her I remember being a bit shell shocked from her frank words, wild blond hair, and sparkling high heels. She immediately became one of my favorite people and each day at work I looked for the latest hair fashion, flower, or bow, what color her nails were, and what shoes she had on. She loved shoes, among many things, and I remember in one of our last conversations she was lamenting over not being able to wear her favorite high heeled boots, they of course were red. She also fostered my love of good pros writing, great historical and non-fiction novels, and classic rock music.
Lee also LOVED nursing students, with an example of servant-hood she worked day and night, sometimes 24/7 to ensure that prospective nurses to-be could financially afford to pursue higher education. To watch her in this role, which she kept for 20 years, was humbling and as a faculty member I learned much about the importance of putting the students first through Lee’s example.
The last two years of her life she took on cancer with a positive attitude and almost made chemotherapy look easy. She was stubborn and determined, my two favorite traits of hers, and never gave up trying to work or write. (You can read a recent endorsement I wrote for her new blog site here.)
Lee, remember how I would sit up at the hospital on my computer and you on your iPad and we would work and not talk and just be together, or how you would catch me grading in the middle of the night? I loved to come into your office and just sit on your couch and take deep breaths and hide. You used to always read my blog posts and then e-mail me about them. I think you might have been my biggest fan. Remember how you would fill me in on politics and the history of previous presidential administrations? Or, how you would tell me about places you had traveled, living in California, or what it was like to have been a woman who worked even when that was not always the social norm? It is funny how your sickness was a chance to know you better and love you even more.
Lee, you changed me forever. Thank you. I will never be able to look at a pair of red high heels and not think of you friend.
Lee, thank you for helping to change my heart and my life. Two songs for you today my friend… I cannot wait to see you again and check out what fantastic shoes you will have on or read what you are currently writing. I am so sorry I could not have been there in person to say goodbye, but I am holding to the fact that we can catch up again somewhere. Enjoy the new adventures and peace.