Almost four years ago, during a family vacation to Florida, I decided it was time to take my daughter, Elle (who was two months shy of six years old at the time), for her very first Kate Spade experience.

Although Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, I consider her to be a true inspiration and of course, a style icon.

The night before, I couldn’t sleep. My husband would laugh as we laid there in the bed, me jumping with excitement, in anticipation of her and I getting matching bags the next morning. This was a serious momma dream come true, Kate.

(I had it pictured in my head: she would get the cross body bag. I would get the full size. Brilliant. Let’s do this, Elle.)

So the next morning, we walk into the store. I show her the white bags, the black bags, the legendary striped bags.

Nope. Nope. And nope.

None of them appealed to her ‘style’, she told me. (Don’t take offence, Kate. Versace would have a hard time pleasing this one.)

Then, she saw it. The first Kate Spade item that she would call hers. Her face lit up, and her eyes widened.

d3834cd1-Heather Delaney

Elle seen here at a Kate Spade store with her new black, furry earmuffs. (Courtesy of the author)

She fell in love with...

...a pair of black, furry earmuffs.

That’s right, Kate, a pair of freaking black, furry earmuffs. (I mean, does anything scream ‘Canadian’ more than going into a Florida store, and buying a pair of earmuffs?! The answer is no.)

The lady at the store proudly boasted that this would be the first pair of earmuffs that they ever sold, and told Elle that she would smile for days just because of this sale.

Just like that, my dreams of matching mother/daughter purses went down the drain, as Elle laid her earmuffs proudly on the counter. I should’ve seen this coming.

But she was smiling. The sales lady was smiling. And even I, jaded by the loss of a new purse, was smiling.

Kate, I’m sorry that we could not bottle that up for you. I’m sorry that we could not bottle up every grin, every laughter, and every happy heart that walked through your stores.

I’m sorry that we could not gather every smile that you put on a humans face, whether it was because they just found the loveliest brooch for their wedding day, the most exquisite pair of earrings to wear on their graduation day, or even the most coziest pair of earmuffs to wear around Florida – and lay those smiles in your lap.

I’m sorry that some are still scared by mental health, Kate. I’m sorry that some don’t understand it. And I’m sorry that the world still doesn’t always allow us to talk openly about it, without fear of prejudice.

I’m just so sorry you were sad, while you made so many others happy. So incredibly happy.

You lived a life that others could only dream of. Powerhouse of a businesswoman. Wife. Mother. Owner of the most amazing apartment on Park Avenue.

But yet you must’ve housed a tormented heart, Kate. And that breaks mine.

So I’m sorry, Kate, that we could not gift you the happiness that was felt in this six-year-old’s body that day as she sat in that Kate Spade store. With her Kate Spade ‘cozy’ earmuffs.

I hope that you are now at peace, Kate. And happy. I hope you are so incredibly happy.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, Kate, no, I passed on the matching earmuffs. But I did get the loveliest black purse to match the black in her earmuffs. God bless.


A forever fan of yours.