“I always wanted to marry you!”
These were the words that I read on the email from HIM.
I was ending my second marriage (just wrong from the very beginning) when I had the strong spiritual urge to let the one guy who I couldn’t shake out of my heart know how great he was to me and for me during our high school and college years. The email was sent…and this was the response.
My intent was simple. “Clear the path for a new and lasting love.” Yes, I am the romantic…but somehow this love that lingered had to be dealt with and released so that I could truly find a life partner that I could live out the rest of my life with.
I laughed at the email as I thought it might just be trite…but then, he suggested that we get together for lunch within the next few weeks because the ANNIVERSARY of our first date was coming up.
OMG…he remembers the date of our first date. I recall so much of our experiences together but not the date of our actual first date.
We each prepared for the downtown Princeton lunch. He brought pictures of us from our dating years. I brought notecards of what I loved about our being together and why he was such a great guy. We spent three hours sharing our mutual and individual recollection of our time together. Princeton was our college home base and a walk through the campus followed by a stop at DeAngelo’s for a Labor Day preorder of food ended our tour and lunch.
His last words that day were simple. “I will always love you!”
And then I thought, well that was beautiful. It is lovely to know that you can rekindle a friendship from a long-lost love and now my life can be freed to find my new “Jay”.
The most powerful gift of being a woman over 50 is that we can learn and become exactly who we are and set a future that is filled with abundance and beauty on all levels of life, and because of that soul-filled power we can create the life that we were really meant to live.
That lunch was five and a half years ago. We learned more about the failed marriages that we both pursued because we were ill-equipped and egocentric in our responses to each other when we misunderstood the intentions of actions. We realized how we were unable to truly pursue those tough and yet critical conversations in relationships that would have clearly brought us both back together long before the many decades we spent apart. We became both vulnerable and courageous in our pursuit of happiness for ourselves as well as for each other during that reconnection period of time. And we were confident that this “reunion” was a gift made in heaven that would allow us to now realize that which we had all along: a deep and profound love for each other like no other that we had experienced in any other relationship.
Today, we are married and enjoy the new titles of husband and wife. We have perfected the “bride and groom” interactions of an older couple with the same zest for a new marriage as we would have in our earlier years. But this time…the sincerity and the joy behind it are so profoundly gratifying and true.
We have symbolized our new-found family with the creation of a crest and the two key values of “heart and hand,” symbolizing that we are in this together with hearts that lead our decisions and hands that are available for those in need.
For both of us…we know that as long as you continue to dream, learn, and love…anything is absolutely possible as you choose to remain young in spirit and live from an open heart.
Kathie De Chirico-Stuart
Business Leader and Visionary-2019
Tapping into more than 25 years of both retail and wholesale experience in the fashion industry, De Chirico contributes a unique combination of business/enterprise strategy, merchandising and supply chain management systems, and marketing strategy where she works directly with CEOs’ and Presidents of small to mid-size businesses in developing a strategic game plan for growth and long-term value. Moving to the wholesales side of the fashion industry, she became President/COO of Basic Elements and was directly responsible for all supporting functions of the company including domestic and Asian production, merchandising, domestic and international finance, sales, and marketing
Throughout her executive career she continued to play a role in International Business Development where her activities include speaking at the Cotton Forum in Mexico City and “Brand Fitness” sponsored by the Sustainable Economic Ministry for the State Government of Guanajuanto, Mexico.
As a Director of Brand Development for The Wall Street Journal she led the launches of WSJStore, WSJTravel and had been charged with the growth of WSJWine business, which reached $53 million dollars in revenue during her tenure. Her key focus was to expand The Wall Street Journal Brand with an eye on the demographics and psychographics of their core customer. Her ability to link the intangible assets of a brand to the tangible assets of a company is what uniquely attracted Dow Jones to bring her on board.
In 2015 Kathie was recruited to VVA LLC/VVA Sweett Group to oversee all operational functions and full coordination of personnel as the COO for the parent company and Joint Venture Partnership out of the UK. The impact of her leadership drove revenue up 25% with the integration of VVA Sweett’s core program solutions into the US market.
Kathie De Chirico remains committed to the future of business leadership and thus serves on a number of distinguished advisory boards. De Chirico was a key member of the Board of Advisors for the Executive Women in Fashion Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. During her first year at Dow Jones, she spearheaded the first Dow Jones Women’s Leadership Program. Her contributions have earned her the Chair of the Women’s Leadership Taskforce for the Villanova School of Business as well as being tapped for the Chair of Strategy for Women in the Boardroom’s Advisory Council. Based on the continued mission to empowering women and leadership, Kathie was asked to sit on Seton Hall’s School of Business Leadership Council, which now holds the 5-year consecutive National Recognition Honor for Leadership by the HRM.
She was appointed to the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Villanova School of Business (ranked in the Top 20 as #11) and continues to remain a beacon for women at this elite business school.
Her unbridled energy for women’s well being is continuously illustrated through her focus on partnering initiatives and her ambitious thought leadership in delivering to her community.