Monthly Archives: June 2017


I have never been a fan of shopping.

But my mom seemed to really enjoy it. When we were small, my younger brother and I went with her frequently on shopping trips to Belk (department store) and Waccamaw ( When she went back to work, she upgraded our visits to Nordstrom and Dillards. I was 12, and by this time, loved going with her because she always helped me figure out what to pick out. I was never very good at that. She was always very understanding and let me do my own thing, even if it meant wearing men’s Reebok sneakers (I had big feet lol) with a dress. I valued comfort over fashion, and she never made me feel weird about that.

As I got older, I didn’t pick up any new shopping habits or fashion sense. I tried shopping with friends, but I could never get into it. I always felt inadequate about my preferences and tastes. While my relationship with my mom was often strained as I transitioned into my 20s, we could still go shopping and have a good chat. She always listened even if she didn’t agree with all of my choices (clothing or otherwise).

I got to go shopping with her only a few weeks before she died. We were shopping for earrings at JCPenny (a random stop in the mall). Mom was giving me input and asking questions as I tried to narrow down my choices for earrings. She was always supportive, and offered her experiences and opinions. As I paid for a set of earrings I had picked out, I noticed a sale on some blouses that would be work appropriate.

Mom continued to offer feedback (“that’s pretty” or “that would go well with this”) and went so far as to offer to pay for the clothes. I’m well into my 30s now, and she’s still trying to take care of me! The blouses weren’t even that expensive. She insisted, but I pushed back this time. I ended up buying an entire suit and 2 blouses for less than $70. It was really sweet that she wanted to buy me clothes.

It will be hard shopping without her. I might go back to stitch fix or other online services. I’ve never been a fan of shopping.


Today, my visit to California ends. It’s been an emotional 9 days, not to mention the week leading up to it. This was my first time to Sacramento since my mom died. It’s also the first time back in the Bay Area since my friend Dan died. I have so many memories of them in these places. I’ve definitely cried more this week than I have in the last few.

I rented a convertible to drive around Sacramento on my quick weekend visit, and drove everywhere with the top down. I spent time with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and my Grandmother. We swam in my aunt’s pool, laughed over coffee, and shared a few tears as we shared memories of my Mom. This was her family…where she grew up. I ate Jim Boy Tacos in her honor. They were her favorite tacos, and whenever we visited, we ate there every other day.


On Sunday, I drove to San Jose to attend Apple’s WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC). This was particularly emotional because Dan worked for Apple on the team that runs the live events. I last saw Dan in “meat space” when I was out for the Apple conference 2 years ago. He had just moved out to San Fran for the job, and was really excited about it. We discussed San Francisco life (and all his crazy encounters), and watched the Warriors in the playoffs (he was a huge basketball fan). I took him to some of my favorite spots in Haight-Ashbury, and he took me to some places his friends recommended. We had a great time.

WWDC Bash 2017

The day I “won the lottery” and got a WWDC ticket was the day Dan died. I knew I had to go. I didn’t realize I would cry every day of the conference. Or that I would randomly break down in sessions where I’d think Dan probably would’ve given me clues about the upcoming releases (he never broke the NDA though).

I also met some really cool people. WWDC does not disappoint in bringing the amazing developer community together. From Ireland to Ohio to Australia, once again I met people from around the world of all backgrounds and upbringings. Once again, I have been enlightened and educated, and hopefully made a little better by the people I’ve connected with.

Castle Rock

And today, I went hiking with Kim (Dan’s wife) to see Dan’s grove in Castle Rock (Los Gatos, CA). It was an amazing hike. The 7.5mi trek wound through groves of trees, across ridges of the mountains, and near trickling streams of water. It was beautiful.

I cried a lot today. But that’s okay. I’ll move forward.

I’ll be back.