Monday, September 6, 2010

The Secret Garden in Fredericksburg, TX: A little behind the scenes story...

This post  is about a store and a couple of drug reps.  So... sit back as I take you back to the very early 1990's when I was a pharmaceutical drug rep and had a co-worker named Kathy. We worked really well together and took our job very seriously. We sold drugs for breast cancer. How much more serious could that be?

Kathy and I had a wonderful working relationship and developed a great friendship. I remember the first day that Kathy was moved into my division at work and I took her around to meet her new customers. Our first stop was the oncology floor of a major hospital. As we were riding up the elevator Kathy asked me if we would actually see cancer patients on the floor. I told her that although we were simply dropping off some patient education materials, it was likely that we would see some patients. Kathy started crying before we ever got out of the elevator, cried the whole time we were in the hospital, and cried the rest of the day.

To make Kathy’s first experience of visiting the oncology floor even that more traumatic, my Aunt Gayle was coincidentally on the same floor with her very good friend since childhood, holding her hand as she lay dying of breast cancer. Aunt Gayle was the first person we saw as we got out of the elevator who sadly informed us that just minutes before her friend had died. It was a tough day. And now looking back, it was a day that would be a defining moment for both Kathy and me.

I knew immediately that I was going to love working with Kathy because she just got it (not to mention she was just a really great person); she understood that there was far more to our job than selling and representing.  It was about people and their lives and we understood that our drugs would mean life or death for many women (and men, breast cancer does occur in 1% of men).  We dedicated a lot of our time spreading the word about financial assistance programs and support groups. The company we worked for was always more than generous in supporting these causes.

In some ways it seems like it was so many years ago, but in other ways it seems like it was just yesterday. Although I ended up moving on with my career and moved to three different cities before settling back in Texas, Kathy stuck with it for several more years. We always stayed in touch and she always referred to my moving on as “when Debi left me to do this by myself.”

While working together, I always knew that Kathy had a dream of moving to Fredericksburg, Texas and living in a little historical farm house (what in Fredericksburg is known as a Sunday House) and having a little store on Main Street. And for those of you that have been reading my blog for a while, you are aware of my dream of living on a farm with lots of animals.

Today, with cow manure on my high heel shoes, I’m here to say that dreams do come true!

But with a few twists and turns, of course.

About ten years after our first day together on that oncology floor, Kathy ended up taking early retirement and yes – she moved to Fredericksburg, bought a Sunday House, and owns a shop on Main Street! And after a handful of relocations, I finally got to live that dream of being on a farm with lots of animals (and cow manure). And, believe it or not, I’m 20 minutes from Kathy!

But, let me explain the twists and turns that sometimes come before the living your dream part. Ironically, Kathy and I shared another similar experience, one that she and I would have never, ever imagined or predicted. About eight to nine years after that first day together in 1994, Kathy and I both became patients taking the very same breast cancer meds we used to sell. Who would have ever thought it??? We certainly didn’t.

I was diagnosed first, and then Kathy was diagnosed about a year later. I still shake my head when I think about the irony of all of this. So yeah, it was a little unexpected twist, but a turn that made us all the stronger and grateful for how our lives are today. We don’t have any regrets.

Kathy and I are both completely cancer free AND working together again!

Her shop on Main Street, The Secret Garden, is our exclusive Main Street store in Fredericksburg that carries Hummingbird Farms Aromatherapy Body Care. Yes, we once again are partners!

And it just feels so right.

So please – if you are ever visiting Fredericksburg, TX, please stop by The Secret Garden and visit with Kathy. Kathy will ship anywhere in the country! Also, check out her blog here. Below are pictures of some of the beautiful and one-of-a-kind items you can find at The Secret Garden, not to mention of course, Hummingbird Farms Aromatherapy Body Care!



Alli said...

This is such a great story! Have I ever met Kathy? BTW, I LOVE that white coat in her store pics and have to have it! Love you

Greyeyes said...

I really enjoy your written voice and the stories you choose to share. It's funny how some things work. Best of luck you your friend Kathy and you take care, D

Hill Country House Girl said...

I just met Kathy recently and she is a doll, not to mention that I can't even walk in The Secret Garden without getting all greedy and wanting everything in there - especially the jewelry. I love it that you share such history together, that you are both still alive and loving your lives, and that you both got your dreams. One day, one day... you and I will meet. Don't float away out there!

MotherT said...

I love that you and Kathy are back to partnering!

I sent the link to Kathy's store to my daughter. I think she's going to love this store.

Painted Groove Girl said...

you are quickly becoming the world's best storyteller. (Tomi look out!) Anyway, this is just the best story. And, who knew? I had no idea that this store you've mentioned before, had such fabulous clothes just perfect for me.

Now I'm off to find Kathy's website and read her blog. I need that skirt!