Remembering Robin, from Grace Gonglewski

‘Robin Garden’ is how she is listed in my cell phone contacts.
I met Robin about three years ago when she moved next door to my other best friend Martha (Jen Childs being my oldest BFF). We became friends and she passed away just one year ago.
Robin had long shiny brown hair with straight thick bangs. She was a fashion buyer for Lucky Brand, a stylist for Nicole Miller and sales rep for Pandora jewelry. She had an amazing flare for design and fashion.
Her house looked like a West Elm window display with silver vases and white shag rugs; her kitchen had vintage milk crates and antique metal roosters.
Her wardrobe was sleek and stunning. She wore lame pants with ease. She arrested a room with her presence. She was flummoxed by my t-shirt and yoga pants style and was constantly suggesting how I could improve my look.
She was also an amazing gardener and every year tamed my crazy plant beds which was how she garnered the moniker ‘Robin Garden’. Even as she plunged her hands in the dirt -weeding and taming -she looked marvelous.
Robin had a distinctive low gravely voice from years of smoking. She died from lung cancer that took her very quickly. Her house needed to be sold expediently and the contents emptied, so Martha and I helped Robin’s best friend Katherine go through everything. To disseminate a life time of beautifully collected items in a matter of days was a daunting and at times crushingly sad task. But there was also appreciation and levity. We saved the finest things for her nieces.
Robin left beautiful cashmere sweaters, maxi skirts, leather jackets, rhinestone jewelry for her girlfriends to sort through. The three of us cried and laughed as we tried on the fancy items that fit her thin frame so beautifully. I inherited quite a few lovely pieces and every time I wear one everyone remarks how chic I look. I imagine Robin is so very pleased with how stylish she has finally made me.
During rehearsals I kept being reminded of Robin as I began to get to know my character Robyn. They shared a lot of characteristics including a love of smoking, chic fashion, and an aura of mystery. I don’t think Robin had the criminal past that my Robyn’s character has but there are undeniable past secrets that created the mystique around her.

It felt right and good to dedicate the show to her when her spirit kept arising during the rehearsal process.
Rest In Peace Robin. You are cherished and remembered 💜💜💜