She’s so FLUFFI: Meet Kathy Viola, Fabulous Lady

Within a nano second of proposing that FLUFFIs send in their nominations for fabulous women to be featured in this column, Colleen Viola texted me to suggest her mother.  Those of us fortunate enough to know and love Kathy Viola (yes, she is my sister-in-law and beloved friend) will cheer that she is having a moment in the spotlight today.  Read and be touched by the love and admiration a daughter has for her mom…

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” – Coco Chanel

There is this woman living among us, whom you may or may not know. She is sophisticated (except when she is determined to climb that tree in your backyard).

 

She even shows her rustic and patriotic side on occasion.  Fabulous!
She even shows her rustic and patriotic side on occasion. Fabulous!

 

She is strict (except when she lets her grandson have that second piece of cake against Mommy’s and Daddy’s orders).

Kathy with her first grandchild, Ben.  This little boy has Kathy wrapped around her little finger in the sweetest of ways.  She is never more beautiful when in the presence of her family - because love shines out of her like the sun on a perfect beach day.
Kathy with her first grandchild, Ben. This little boy has Kathy wrapped around her little finger in the sweetest of ways. She is never more beautiful when in the presence of her family – because love shines out of her like the sun on a perfect beach day.

She is fearless (except when someone walks into a room too quietly and startles her into a momentary episode of hysteria). Confused?  Not to worry; it’s normal!

Regardless, I am here to tell you that Kathleen Viola is a life force so strong and so bright that she exemplifies what it means to be a simply fabulous woman.

Kathy is a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. And my God, does she throw herself so fully and completely into each of those roles.

See Kathy (far right) throwing herself into her role as "mother of the groom" at her son Stephen's wedding.  Her zest for life and love has filtered through this wonderful clan, as evidenced by this photo.
See Kathy (far right) throwing herself into her role as “mother of the groom” at her son Stephen’s wedding. Her zest for life and love has filtered through this wonderful clan, as evidenced by this photo.

As her daughter, I have always felt safe, supported, and loved.

For this, I am eternally grateful. But I am even more appreciative of the values and wisdom that my mom has instilled in me.

My education is boundless when I am with her, even though she may not know that she teaches me something new each day. Those of you who know my mom understand that she doesn’t always make things easy. I’ve heard many a tale about Kathy’s affinity for emotions from my dad, aunts, and their friends growing up. Most of these stories are about backyard skits, or practical jokes, or friends, or boys…and almost all of them involved tears. Don’t worry, Mom, I have a point here…

My point is that when Brenda asked for nominations for this spotlight, I was compelled to suggest Kathy as her first subject. I didn’t think about it; I just knew, in my gut, that I had to use this as an opportunity to let the world know about this fabulous woman.

And that’s one of Kathy’s lessons to me: don’t be afraid to surrender to a feeling.

Coco Chanel had it right, I think. She was right because although mom is classy because of her intellect and sophistication, she is fabulous because of her authenticity and passion.

Editors note:  It could be a hormonal surge, which happens regularly in these glory days of menopause, but my eyes kept tearing up as I read this.  What a beautiful tribute when your daughter (who is pretty darn fabulous herself) feels so deeply to write an ode to her mother. 

This is exactly the dream I had in my heart when starting FLUFFI.  That the love women had in their hearts for each other would find a place for expression – and in doing so, encourage everyone who reads.  I hope this post inspired you to think of someone who deserves their FLUFFIness to be recognized.  Please send me your nominations!

 

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4 thoughts on “She’s so FLUFFI: Meet Kathy Viola, Fabulous Lady

  1. Beautiful tribute. Very satisfying to read such fabulous words. Touched my heart and I think I would nominate Bette Costello also (my sister).

    1. Aunt Joan – thank you for taking the time to read, and your comments make me feel closer to you than ever. Love, Brenda JOAN Viola. xoxoxo

  2. What a beautiful tribute to Kathy from her daughter! “Don’t be afraid to surrender a feeling.” I was so blessed by that statement. It took me a long time to be able to be open enough to do that. It truly is so freeing. Kathy is a very wise woman. Thinking about who to nominate…… My first thought was Bette Costello. (:

    1. I know – “to surrender to a feeling” is such a beautiful phrase. It touched me, too. Thank you Colleen – and Mrs. Kantor – what a GREAT idea (I am partial, though…)

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