When my grandpa Samuel Steiner passed away in September, Reggie wrote on my Facebook wall. Here is what she said:
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Just last Thursday, before I left to Ocean Reef, I came to see you at Aventura Hospital. In your Philadelphia accent, you said:
“Erin, hold my hand. I want you to know I am sick and it is ok for me to go now that I know that Anna is getting married, Mari has a baby and you found the love of your life.”
I basically sat, held her hand, and told her to shut up. We were all used to Reggie complaining and making ludicrous comments as such… but this time, she was not kidding. After the nurse came in and asked who I was, I proceeded to respond “she is my grandmother.” She insulted me.
Today, the world lost what people dream of: a true friend.
They say that in life if you can count your friends on one hand you are lucky. That is the story of my friendship with Regina Ann Rubin, who I met in 2006 when I accepted a job at Neiman Marcus in Coral Gables as the Specialist of Dolce Gabbana and the Designer Department. Reggie, this red headed eccentric, managed the Chanel Boutique. At first, she gave me stress, headaches and grief. She then instantly became part of my family, sharing birthdays, holidays, Obama parties, memorials and simple moments of bliss with us all.
This woman was one of a kind. The comments, that accent, the hysterical, ruthless judgements, made us all just love her for who she was. Reggie rolled with a group of girls that were powerhouses. She loved them. They loved her. For a woman who had no family, she had all and more than we all wished for. Endless love… and this past week, as she was taken into hospice, it was so apparent as to who this woman truly was. The love was a testament to the joy she brought to people through her life in Maryland, Philly and Miami. People flew in from all over the country to sit by her side.
Reggie loved to brag about the fab people she called her family. She supported us all more than can be described, from dragging us to Linda and Jeff Chodorow’s restaurant openings, to telling me how she loved Carol and how Carol’s daughters were her favorite. Reggie used to make me google Carol’s daughter Lauren’s outfits and was so excited when she married Simon Cowell, because Reggie got to go to see American Idol live. Reggie loved spending holidays with Diane and Alan Lieberman in Porto Vita and loved their daughter Haley and her husband Jason Binn. She loved Norma and Ali Quintero and would shlep to the Grove to be with them. Reggie introduced me to Jen Temen and Parker Taylor, a young couple that she used to drag to SoHO House where she would request only to be on the private floors, and she loved to dine at the best restaurants in Miami. You could find this ball of energy at Cipriani, or dancing disco on Calle Ocho with Anna Moreno Nava, Charmaine Campbell and I…..
There was nobody like Reggie.
She stood by me in my hardest times, helped when I was down and out, came to Mystery Dates which I used to Chair at MoCA, she came to celebrate my birthdays, she would come to my moms house and make calls for Obama when she wasn’t sure what her political party was…Just to be with us. That was our Reg…and she loved Jacquelynn Powers Chanukkah Parties too. It was endless.
I truly never realized how Reggie affected people, but after being admitted into Hospice on Monday night, the love and crowds poured in. She would have been shocked as to how admired she truly was. The director of Hospice told me “we have never seen anything like this here at Vitas. This woman must have been special.”
Truth be told she was more than special. She was a light that will never burn out. Dripping in Chanel from the heavens above, dancing to Disco with your partner Jerry, Reggie, thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for introducing me to my best friends Anna Moreno Nava and Marisabel Daza. Thank you for every moment. Thank you for being a back bone to me. Thank you for making me hold your hand and for telling me ‘Erin, I love you….my friends don’t even understand.’
Reg, you touched people from 20-90 years old. That speaks volumes…..and thank you for letting me take your Gloria Estefan’s greatest hits…. The song ‘I See Your Smile’ will forever remind me of you….. and I will go get my framed Pucci Scarf in your living room that you gifted me and forever keep it on my wall, and next to my heart….and thank you for always reposting my blogs and supporting MsErinsita…..I now also dedicate my website in your honor.
‘Cause when I close my eyes
I still can see your smile
It’s bright enough to light my life
Out of my darkest hour
Please believe it’s true
When I tell you I love you