Levine Communications Office

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  • January 2011
    M T W T F S S


Posted by Levine Communications Office on January 12, 2011

By LCO Client and Author Alana Stewart

I woke up this morning thinking it can’t possibly be! But it is. Another year has flown by and my head is still spinning from 2009, the year before last! That was not a good year. As I lay here curled under my covers, dreading to get up to even turn on the heat, it reminded me of growing up in our little country house on a red dirt road in Nacogdoches, Texas. We had no heating system or indoor plumbing, for that matter, so when my grandmother woke me up for school at 6 a.m. I’d huddle under the heavy quilts until she had lit the small gas heater in the living room and the frosty air was warmed enough for me to get dressed and have breakfast before the school bus came.

So, now, with the temperatures in Los Angeles dipping into the 30’s at night in a most unusual and record-breaking cold front, as a creature of habit, I still sleep without heat and stay under the covers until I get up the courage to make a run for the heating controls in the living room. That morning period, lying in bed, is where I do some of my best thinking. The first thing I wondered when I woke up this morning in my frigid room, was how Al Gore was enjoying the global warming in his new home in Santa Barbara, which I believe I heard on the news, was having a record-breaking cold spell.

In my mind, I went back over how I spent the last three New Year’s Eves. In 2008, I went over to my friend Farrah Fawcett’s condo and rang it in with her and Ryan. She was battling cancer but that didn’t stop her from sharing a glass of champagne with us.  (Actually, I made peach bellinis because straight champagne is way too sour for me. I much prefer a nice, sweet red drink like a Cosmopolitan). Then she gamely got out of bed and helped me make the pie crusts for our New Year’s Day dinner. We had toasted to her health and held great promise in our hearts that the miracle she so badly needed was just around the corner. That was her last New Year’s Eve. She died six months later, in June of 2009, after an incredibly courageous and inspiring three-year battle. I’d never gone through an experience like that with someone I loved and it was devastating and heartbreaking. I just refused to believe that she will actually succumb to this deadly disease. She was far too strong and filled with life. I was certain that one of these treatments we scoured the world for was going to be the magic cure and when it didn’t work out that way, I felt so helpless. Almost like I’d let her down because I couldn’t “save” her. Now that I’ve finally come to terms with her passing, it’s still painful and I miss her like crazy but I truly know she’s in a beautiful place. Ironic that she should start her career as an “angel” and now she’s one of the angels that watch over us.

Less than five months after Farrah’s passing, the love of my life, my French Mastiff, Lolita, died from complications from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on her spinal cord. I spent months trying to save her as well, and when she died I went to bed and cried for days. It was all too much loss for me to bear. It took a long time to recover physically and emotionally, and I spent last New Year’s Eve in bed, under the covers, watching the ball drop with Megan Kelly in Times Square, and feeling sad and sorry for myself.

So, this New Year’s Eve, as much as I was tempted to stay in bed and watch the festivities on television, I decided to do something different. My friend, Marianne Williamson, had convinced me to go to dinner at the Tower Bar, just the two of us. I’ve never been out to a restaurant on New Year’s Eve with a woman friend. I’ve either had a date with a guy or gone to a party, and I wondered if I might be a little uncomfortable in a room filled with couples. But having grown up in Texas where New Year’s Eve was a big deal I decided that it needed to be celebrated, and who better to do it with than a dear friend whose company I enjoy much more than going to a party and making small talk or with a man who doesn’t make my heart beat a little faster, just for the sake of being out with a guy.

We had a fabulous dinner, felt totally comfortable, and after my one drink, I was ready to party. Alas, we didn’t have a party that we wanted to go to, so we went back to my house and opened a bottle of pink Champagne (really good Champagne) that I had been saving for a special occasion.  Francis Fisher and her daughter Francesca, came over and we brought in the New Year with Marianne doing a wonderful prayer for all of us and for peace in the world. Then I insisted we go to my room and watch the ball drop in Times’s Square. I had tivo’d it on Fox News to play back but Marianne refused to watch Fox, so I was able to get in on ABC. How did we all live before TiVo, or whatever they call it now? It’s not New Year’s to me if I don’t see that ball drop and hear Auld Lang Syne.

So I feel like I got the best of everything; wonderful company, a good meal, great champagne (still not sweet enough for me), and a beautiful and spiritual welcoming of 2011. It was actually a very empowering night – spending it with close women friends who are like-minded, praying for a better year for each of us and for our country and the world we live in. So, even though it would be nice to have a man in my life, it’s not a necessity. That’s a great place to be instead of, in my youth, where I felt somehow incomplete or not enough if I wasn’t half of a couple.

I think as we get older, women start to realize the value of our female friends. Most of the time, unless we’re lucky enough to have a marriage that lasts a lifetime, men, even husbands, come and go, but our women friends tend to be the longest relationships in our lives. I learned the real meaning of friendship with Farrah, who was like my sister. I know she would have done the same for me if it had been the other way around. Now, more than ever, I cherish my women friends, and look forward to the time we spend together. And an evening spent with the “girls” is not a wasted evening or an evening where we’re hoping Mr. Wonderful will walk into the Tower Bar. It’s really about being together, enjoying each other’s company, and the spiritual nurturing that one gets from being with a true loving friend who has your back, no matter what.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow.

Alana Stewart is a best-selling author and President of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation.

One Response to “IT’S 2011! WOMEN, WAKE UP!”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LevineCommunications, LevineCommunications. LevineCommunications said: Check out this amazing post by LCO Client Alana Stewart ==> http://bit.ly/epIVwk […]

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