A Shower Embracing Viva
"She emigrated from Laos, running from The Vietnam War,” she said, “By herself. Pregnant. Legally. She was twenty years old. The biological father decided to go to Canada, but the girl kept with her decision; the United States of America, she stayed true to her instinct and promised to give her baby all the opportunity she could. The young mother worked as a hospice nurse during the day and evenings at Carl's Jr., she left her daughter with a trusted nanny and seemed to always be working but supported two on a working MAMA'S, two job income; she didn’t raise her daughter, the nanny raised her. As a young, single, immigrant mother, alone in her world, she provided the best life for her daughter she could. Her daughter rarely saw her but they were safe, together at least for one hour each day. You know how the daughter connected with her mother? The daughter, to her working MAMA? Through her closet, through her worn sweaters…her soiled blouses, silk tanks and yesterday's uniforms. You know what they smelled like? Chanel N°5.” *
“that's how I connected with my mother when she was gone, with her perfume"
That little girl, now a soon-to-be MAMA of two, emphasized her speech saying “that’s how I connected with my mother when she was gone, with her perfume. Chanel N°5 gifted me with the presence of my mother, and I honor her today at my second daughter’s baby shower with this Chanel theme. There are many parallels to my mother and CoCo Chanel, né Grabrielle Chanel; they were unafraid, abandoned, alone, orphaned one-way-or-another yet they perservered, they moved forward, they evolved. I have invited each one of you ladies to this baby shower because I am inspired by each one of you, of what you give to your society, including my mother who's sitting to my right and still wears Chanel N°5 to this day” *
Tear jerker. Not a dry eye in the house. All eyes were on Alida Roberts, her vivacious five-year old daughter Regina, Alida's husband Lee Roberts (who also gave the most heartwarming of speeches) and Alida's MAMA, Vanly Siharath. Hosted by Jackie DeLappi, Tina Teigen, Mary Kathleen Keeler, Roshie Khorrami-Raissi, Vivian Levisman and Jen Bloch at Mon Ami Gabi, inside Paris Hotel, we dined on a three course meal and nearly ran the house dry of pink bubbles.
The baby shower was held six days after our terrible Vegas massacre. Alida questioned whether to cancel or not, we all told her no, we must continue to celebrate life, Viva translates to life. Soon-to-be-born Vivienne Siharath Roberts, the baby who's nickname is inspired by her papa's favorite UNLV Rebel's game song "Viva Las Vegas," now took on a much more powerful & charged meaning.
A healing event. From the women whose men worked days-straight in the emergency & operating rooms to the families present at the shower who were directly affected and to the MAMAS who choose to raise their native sons & daughters in Las Vegas; it was a cathartic, healing, celebratory experience for all. Alida bought each one of us a #vegasstrong bracelet from local favorite Dee Berkely in silver with black crystal to honor those who've been affected and, you know what? We felt stronger from it. Thank you, Alida, for your surprise at 43. We love you and love to celebrate all of YOU. This was a shower embracing life, on so many levels. Blessings to our fair city, blessings to those who are fighting for their lives, those who are gone too soon, those who are healing and those who are making their entrance into this world. May we always teach and abide by kindness, empathy, creativity, patience and love in our world. And welcome, sweet Viva, we're so excited to meet you.
Chanel describes N°5 as "an idea of femininity, a masterpiece of chic, passed on from generation to generation" and this, my darlings, was evident that day.
* I'm paraphrasing on Alida's speech but this is how I remember it.
we are #vegasstrong. welcome, Viva!
Alida's mother and I both agreed on one very important thing, we don't waste food. I packaged up the rest of my creme brulee for my husband and Alida's mama scooped two more, untouched desserts into the box. The strawberry swirl, gluten-free Chanel cake by Las Vegas Custom Cakes was outrageously tasty and so perfect. I took photos at the tail-end of the celebration but more photos from Gardenia Lane Photography to come! Alida, thank you for including VEGASMAMAS in your tribe of women you admire, the affection is mutual and much love to you and your family.
PS I think you should add the name "five" to Viva's middle names.
My sons always ask me, "MAMA, where are you in all the photos?" My response is always, "babies, I'm the one everyone is looking at...I'm behind the camera!" In true VEGASMAMAS fashion, here's one of me with our celebratory crew. Just one.