Phyllis Gordon Foundation Postcards
Postcards: 16 | Page 1 of 1
Written by: Sarah Cooper (United Kingdom18) - December 09, 2008, 5:05:22 PM
Its coming up to Christmas a time that Paul and I remember so fondly, you both shared your Christmas with two Brits and opened your arms with your love and affection and welcomed us to your beautiful home.

We still have the picture of you both in front of that Christmas tree sitting on our piano,the girls although they have never met you, know exactly who you are and talk of you with such affection.

I miss you, although we did not comunicate often by email, our twice yearly phone calls across the seas made me so happy. You always gave me such wise advise about my career and my life.

I talk about you to our supplier in Bangladesh and he too remembers you.

Its your relationshp and love with Shane that always made me look at Paul and know that we too share the same love and friendhip and respect that you both shared and enjoyed. I never take this for granted and thank God for our life, love and children.

I will ring Shane soon for our annual chat and whereever you are wish you a special Christmas.

With Love

Sarah

Written by: Elyne Jacobs - June 12, 2008, 11:40:13 AM
Phyl,

A postcard showcasing 35 years of friendship is a monumental task.

Phyl, you are my best friend, my biggest supporter, confidant and kindest critic. We managed to share decades of companionship last year and how we laughed. We journeyed around in the 70’s in your yellow Fiat, our white Ford Mustangs, and the green and blue 240Z. Your long hair, curly or straight was always in view, those nails and that appetite! How we loved living at Escale West in NDG then you moved to Toronto only to convince me to follow. What a wise choice that was and PG, those many years at Forsyth were a wonderful experience for an ex teacher.

How proud I was to have you be my Matron of Honor. Without parents or family to help me, you, with your natural elegance and grace, became my wedding planner

The brunches we shared at Yorkdale continued to connect me to Ruth, Lea and your family in California and of course your Mom, I cherish the way she called me “Mamella” You brought me up to date with your homes both here and in BC (Osoyoos) and naturally about your wonderful Shane. You always were interested in my family and when it appeared that my son Adam was moving off course you managed to set him straight. He is now preparing for Law School and I know that you are proud. He and Jess have been together now 2 ½ years.

Those fantastic visits to Pt. Credit allowed us to review the decades, year by year, and if it was possible they drew us closer. You remembered events that I had forgotten! I admire your strength, wisdom and great love you have in your heart for everyone who surrounds you. I managed to reconnect with Van during some of those trips as well.

It is obvious from the postcards submitted and those yet to be written you have left a lasting mark on many people. I am most proud to have you as a friend and your wisdom, compassion and style remain with me always.( yes we really do need to dress age appropriately)

The spider up your pants remains priceless

Love El

Written by: Lea Tenzer - June 11, 2008, 8:08:45 AM
Phyl.....one year ......I still find myself impulsively reaching for the phone to share some news with you or ask you for advice...I guess I always will ......and that is a good thing! For you have made a diference in my life! And I will always share anecdotes, thoughts and worries with you! I will always hear your voice and it comforts me. Be at peace Meine Shveetheart! Each one of us left behind is keeping a part of you within us and you are still vibrant, beautiful and WONDERFUL!!!!!

I love you.....

leepert



Written by: Ruth Reiner (Montreal) - June 03, 2008, 9:35:35 AM
Phyllis was about ten years old when we met. I was an immigrant from Germany: weird, chubby and far from saavy about North American ways. Phyllis' parents and mine were friends, so we were naturally pooled together; like it or not. So here was this skinny little girl, with short hair that had a slight curl to it, glasses and the most gentle personality of anyone I'd ever met. When I think of her gorgeous mass of long, thick, hair I remember those little curls just hinting at what it would grow to be. Not many kids were willing to be nice to me. Phyllis was nice to everyone.

This tiny girl went from duckling to swan. Her shyness, her innocence and her sensitive little girl's heart was the Phyllis I hold inside. Although many of you know her as the regal, competent adult, I knew her as a child. My mind zigzags between her grade-school years, her teenage years and her midlife grace. There was a period of time that we didn't talk as often as we should have. I was lost in my life's challenges, and Phyllis was in a world I only visited. But she and I always reconnected on the kinds of memories that come from our earliest family-like connections. Her house on MacDonald Avenue, her love of peanut butter sandwiches, her ridiculously ravenous appetite, Catelli meatsauce and pizza, pizza, pizza. I don't think Phyl ever outgrew pizza!

Phyllis would complicate playing Barbie by chewing on her limbs. She chewed on everything. Only she would remember Quintos Pizzeria, a place we made up for random phony calls. We used to get together just to laugh. We travelled through Europe together at the age of eighteen. And I have to give honorary mention to Phyllis' precious sleep schedule, which came with us on our trip. Along with her precious pillow.

On Sundays, we went to our piano lessons with poor Mrs. Shaizic together. Her elderly husband would babysit one of us while the other had her lesson; but he would invariably doze off, freeing us to drive poor Mrs. Shaizic crazy. Once we made goldfish out of play dough and put them into a plastic bag. We brought them to our piano lesson, God only knows why, and invented a complicated story around them. It made our day to convince Mrs. Shaizic that they were alive and interrupted our lessons to feed them.

Phyllis used to play the guitar much more seriously than the piano. She had a beautiful singing voice. She was also a pretty good artist, and I can just see her painting called: Girl with a Fern. I can see her hugging Rusty, her dog. I can see her daily tuna fish sandwiches. I can see her gorgeous, understated style. Come to think of it, she loved Milly the Model Comics! We had hints of her sense of flair even back then. I can see her driving her little Fiat to work in Toronto when we lived together.

I remember her voice. It was as feminine as she.

I loved her like a sister. To me, she was "Phylecrutchke".

I will always love my Phylecrutchke

Ruth



Written by: Molly - February 04, 2008, 8:54:42 AM
I thought about writing this “postcard” for months and wondered whether I should write about you in the past or present tense…in the first person or third person and finally decided, despite my personal doubts about life after death, spirits, etc., that I would just say this to YOU.

Phyllis, you are a beautiful person…you are courageous…you are kind…you are a lady, and best of all, you are a mench. The many people, whose lives you touched and continue to touch, love you. You are gone – it’s hard for any of us to accept. Your many friends and family still think of you. I do - sometimes at the oddest times of the day or night. I think about when we met in primary school, how you were there for me when my father died, then high school and the fun times we had….how we lost touch and reconnected…. how wonderful it was to see you again after so many years…how you haven’t changed . I also think about the unfairness and lost opportunities to get to know you better. Inevitably, musings wander to my own mortality… then life in general and its meaning….finally my brain hurts.

I’ve come to one conclusion: Tomorrow is a maybe. Today and even THIS moment are certain. We need to find happiness in THIS moment and count our blessings today. We need to focus on the positives and stop to look at a rainy dark day and see its beauty. It IS there. So we all need to find a happy way of thinking about you, and others whom we’ve lost. Thank you for helping to ground me. Stay in touch with all of us – I know you will.

Molly



Written by: Joe and Susan Ger - February 02, 2008, 8:12:31 AM
There are so many of Phyllis's qualities that we cherish.The one that we feel best embodies her essence is "pure goodness".She had a light that shone from within . Always had something sincerely kind to say about everyone.She had no space for negativity.We always felt good in her presence, and feel truly blessed to have loved and been loved by her.

Forever in our hearts,

Joe and Susan



Written by: Lea Tenzer (Montreal) - January 19, 2008, 11:05:45 PM
When I walked into my homeroom first day of high school, I had no idea that day would begin a relationship with Phyl that would take us on so many different roads on our way through adolescence, the difficult teen years and adulthood. Although I had met Phyl several years before, that year in grade 8 at West Hill High School decided our relationship. The Phyl I remember and grew to love played guitar, was a prefect and loved Rusty her collie. She was the gentle soul in our group of friends - the one everyone loved. I remember lunches, her voracious appetite and always being jealous at how she could eat and still stay waifishly thin.



University came....she at Sir George and me at McGill...our lives stretched ahead so full of promise..memories of skating, dating and sharing dreams and hopes. The trip to Israel...that night in Beersheba! Our year together in Toronto at 309 Lonsdale with Ruth at The University Of Toronto...the crazy times of Les Girls! That month in Florida and all our escapades!



We both got teaching jobs upon our return to Montreal...driving to St Rose each day! Oh how we hated our chosen professions! We did the only thing we could..we both quit! And then we both got the job at Reitman's. That was the beginning of Phyl's career at which she ultimately excelled and found her calling. She never looked back.





Phyl was with me when I bought my wedding gown.....she was the one who taught me to blow dry my hair on a road trip to Florida..she was my guru in oh so many ways! I can still hear her telling me how one must dress " age appropriate" and at our age we shouldn't leave the house without lipstick! She was the balanced voice I reached out to so many times. I remember when she wrote me she was getting married and moving to Toronto. I was living in Israel at the time and was just about to move back to Montreal. I was devastated that we would once again be separated.





I did the next best thing and made a point of visiting her and Shane and spending time at the "Gordon Spa"! At least once a year I came "home" to Phyl and felt the love and peace that only she could give. Oh those shopping expeditions...sneaking in those Winner bags before Shane came home! Those delicious "healthy" dinners. Those walks..........



And then........Phyl.....you never lost your inner and physical beauty..through it all..that smile..that glow .......you ,who were suffering, always tried to smile..to make it easy for those around you....



Phyl.....my son just got engaged....he always looked at you and Shane as the epitomy of The Couple...I can only hope that he and his future wife have what you and Shane had..there was love and more..you had a heart that knew no limits..there was room for so many and we all felt your love...how lucky we were to have known you and loved you and been loved by you......



Lea



Written by: Andrea Nathanson (Toronto) - January 03, 2008, 8:05:31 AM
Shane: We thank you for the trust you placed in us to help you care for your dearly beloved Phyllis at your home that you made so comfortable and easy for her. The two of you provided each other with the ultimate gift of unconditional loving kindness and generosity of spirit as you bravely and lovingly lived and appreciated each and every moment that you were blessed to be together. May you always draw strength from knowing that your unwavering love, sensitivity, acceptance, devotion, humour and commitment enabled Phyllis to have the most peaceful, and calm passing. We deeply appreciate your letting us in and for the lessons you taught us and our team. Phyllis is deeply missed.



Written by: Colin Lewis (Toronto) - December 20, 2007, 2:33:45 PM
Phyllis was definitely one of my favourite business associates. I was in the fabric business for many years and calling on Phyllis was always a treat and a welcome break from many of the other 'less than pleasant'presentations. It didn't seem to matter to me if I sold any fabric to Forsyth, it was an uplifting experience just chatting with her and getting some of her warmth. We periodically went to lunch and she told me about her ailing mother(who ironically outlived her seemingly healthy and vibrant daughter)moving into a care facility. When I was going back to visit my native UK, Phyllis told me i HAD to stay at the 'Angel Inn' near to the Cotswolds. What good advice that was. We had a great trip and the 'Angel Inn' was one of the highlights. she was just so special.

Shane was lucky to have married her, Forsyth were lucky to have hired her and i was lucky to have known her.



Written by: Ingrid McGowan (Connecticut) - December 15, 2007, 9:24:07 AM
I lost touch with Phyllis after HS, but I remember her as one of the sweetest, gentlest people. Her intelligence and her kindness were remarkable for a teenager, and she seemed to have wisdom even then. You are with the angels now, Phyllis.

Fondly,

Ingrid



Written by: Harris R. Hester (Darien, Connecticut) - December 06, 2007, 2:14:05 PM
PG

I first met Phyllis in the summer of 1995, when we were trying to buy The John Forsyth Shirt Company. I knew, by reputation, that she was one of the best dress shirt merchandisers in North America and was counting on her to be an anchor and key member of our new organization. As I recall, she announced to me over dinner, that I should not count on her being part of the new company. She went on to say that she and Shane were having serious thoughts about retiring and that she was leaving on a long vacation to get a feel of how retirement would be.

Naturally, I was stunned and disappointed but somehow remembered to ask where she was going as a courtesy, thinking all the while that we had a real problem without her. She replied that they were going “camping” in a recreational vehicle and drive through Appalachia. I looked over and noticed Oliver Morante, who had joined us, smiling. I thought that he perhaps did not hear what Phyllis said but this was nothing to smile about. We finished dinner and Phyllis left. I immediately said to Oliver “What were you smiling about?” He said “Phyllis is not a camping kind of girl, it will be all right.”

Three weeks later Phyllis returned and said to me that we needed to talk. It was with trepidation that I said let’s talk. Her first words were “I want my job back!” Thank God. If Shane had picked a three week tour of Europe instead, we could have lost her. (Thanks Shane – I am not sure even you know this story.) What a loss that would have been. Phyllis became that anchor as well as a very talented executive.

I remember Tom Siano, who heads US sales for us, returning from a trip to see customers with Phyllis. He walked into my office and said “I am getting a divorce.” He saw the shocked look on my face and announced that he was going to marry Phyllis. I explained to him that Phyllis was already quite happily married. He said he did not care; she was the nicest, most talented person he had ever worked with – he summed up how we all felt.

Phyllis became a very close personal friend and I could go on with Phyllis stories for many pages. There are also many wonderful “Phyllisicms”, little words that only Phyllis used, but we all knew what she meant. They could fill pages by themselves, e.g. “optic” for a fabric pattern that was too “busy”.

I believe that Phyllis’s true beauty came from her deeply felt concern and caring for other people. Her strength (and she was strong!) from a quiet self confidence and competence. She was indeed a very special person.

PG the world is not the same without you – Betsy and I love you very much.

Harris

Written by: Margaret Ramsdale (Vancouver, British Columbia) - December 06, 2007, 10:16:45 PM
Although I moved from Toronto to Vancouver 20 years ago, the distance between us had absolutely no impact on my friendship with Phyllis. Each weekend I’d look forward to the warmth and comfort of our phone calls. Over the years, many things changed in our lives, but what never changed was the love and reassurance that Phyllis gave me in her signature goodbye at the end of each call – “I hug you, I kiss you.”

Phyllis and I met while both working in the clothing industry, so shared a common interest in fashion. My definition of exquisite taste and true style is Phyllis. Her natural beauty was enough to knock your socks off, but paired with her understated elegance and impeccable clothing, Phyllis was breathtaking. Nobody else could make a simple pair of jeans and a grey t-shirt look better! Phyllis is my style muse and I’ll bet I’m not alone in feeling that way.

Today I asked my husband Greg what one word he would use to describe Phyllis. (Now keep in mind that he, like many other men was smitten with her.) His answer was immediate. “Regal” he replied. Greg then went on to explain his answer, saying that Phyllis was gracious, never had a hidden agenda and wore her honesty, kindness and inner beauty on her sleeve. For Greg, Phyllis represents a pure heart and calm, quiet confidence.

There is nobody kinder than Phyllis. A photo of the two of us rests on the bookcase in our den. She has her arms wrapped around me and we’re smiling at Shane as he takes the shot. When I look at this picture, I can still feel the security of her hug, the warmth and love coming from her arms. For me, it epitomizes what friendship with Phyllis is all about. Phyllis was guaranteed to be there for her friends, to give them encouragement, support and endless love – no matter the number of years that had passed or the miles between them.

To this day, I have conversations with Phyllis. It’s not the same as before, but she will always be in my mind and my heart. So in ending this, I say to you Phyllis - I hug you, I kiss you.

M.

Written by: Charles M. - December 06, 2007, 10:29:45 PM
I knew Phyllis for many years. I considered her to be a reminder of my father in law. I called them angels on earth. Do not get me wrong, I am not at all religious, but the words are correct. You may know my industry (I am an agent in textiles) and the mind set sometimes is peculiar. There are jealousies, cracks and comments, rumours, and more. Phyllis always walked the high road. She could not, or would not, say a bad word about anyone. She was always kind to anyone she met, always had a smile on her face, even at the worst of times, and made me, and anyone I was with while meeting her, feel worthy of her respect and time. This is rare, and for me, was treasured. I never did very much business with her, but always looked forward to my meetings with her. Even without orders, I felt she was not sitting there wasting her own time, but respecting a fellow textile person and giving me the time due.

Over the years, we spoke very openly and personally, as I felt that I could open up with her, which I rarely do with industry people, and she would with me. I knew that Shane had with her the kind of relationship that I have with my wife. He was a lucky guy for many years and I know he knows this. I can only barely imagine the pain he suffered over the last year, and I am sure her loss is unbearable to him. I certainly know I would have a horrible time facing life without my wife.

When I found out in September that she had passed away, I was shocked and saddened, and today, when I saw Gerry and Harris and asked them if I could call Shane, they told me he did not want to talk to anyone, and I respect that completely. I hope he has close friends around him and that he does take the time to talk. I just lost my father in January. I was with him to the last second. It still hurts. I find I can help myself relieve the pain by talking about him, by sharing the understanding of loss, and talking to friends about my memories and suffering. I want Shane to know, as a complete stranger, who held his wife in the absolute highest regard, that, had I the chance, I would have come to any occasion to say goodbye to her, and to celebrate her life. Many I have spoken to shared my sentiments. I had asked Gerry several times if I could call her. He told me she would prefer to see no one, and speak to no one. I am sorry I could not see her, and meet Shane, and my thoughts are with her, and with Shane, because loosing someone so absolutely amazing and wonderful is a loss which will affect many people for a long time.I wish Shane well. Strength. Memories. And eventually, a little less pain. She was unforgettable.

Charles M.

Written by: Rhona Konrad - December 06, 2007, 10:33:45 PM
From one awesome goddess to another,

You and I have been “in the vault” friends for as long as I can remember. From the moment we were tender teenagers (and very cute!,) we began a lifelong friendship that has been transformative, creative, and full of many amusing foibles. On many occasions, whether we were at fashion shows or simply walking into a room or restaurant or at home, we found a way to make it a hilarious part of life. There we were, two totally clumsy yet gorgeous and (seemingly) sophisticated fashionistas. Only you and I could walk into a room, dressed in Prada, Armani or Versace, and trip over something, and burst out laughing. I have always been the enfant terrible in this relationship and somehow you tolerated this behavior because it made you laugh. One time, in particular, we were at a well known retailer’s fashion show that featured top designers and I was relentless in my off colour remarks. You tried so hard to behave but we simply could not stop laughing and those jokes carried on throughout the years.

There is the Brussels sprouts/wallpaper story that was the funniest of all. After consuming a memorable (yet contentious and questionable!) meal, we proceeded to put up wallpaper, which in itself was a completely crazy idea but if I was involved, it had to be. Soon enough, we were covered in wallpaper that stuck to us, which ended up in me flying through the air and landing up in the bathtub. As soon as we ascertained that I was fine, we laughed so hard that whenever I’m sad, I think about this story and I start to laugh. Again, two sophisticated goddesses causing mayhem. Suffice it to say, the trough in the tub broke that day, and Phyllis, I only had to mention the word Brussels sprouts and you would start laughing.

We have shared many wonderful successes in life together. No matter how accomplished you were, you always told me how extraordinary I was and how proud you and Shane were of me. That always mystified me as I thought both of you had such high standards, and somehow, I met them. You were particularly thrilled whenever Jeremy or Jacqueline called me “Mommy”. Thank you for that. It meant a lot to me. It still does.

You are in my heart forever and we will always share wisdom, courage, insight and compassion. We’re smiling now.

With my deepest love,

Rhona

Written by: Bonnie - December 06, 2007, 10:39:45 PM
In the twenty years that I have been working as an interior designer I have never felt the connection to a client that I did to Phyllis Gordon. I am not saying that I have not become friends with several clients over the years for I have and I cherish those relationships but with Phyllis it was different.

I was Phyllised from our first meeting. Phyllis had been given my name by a friend of hers that I had done work for. She called me and we arranged to meet at her home and then go on from there to visit the house she was purchasing. When I arrived at her house she showed me around, told me the items that she wished to keep and the look that she wanted to achieve. We talked for awhile before we left for her new home and it was only then that she told me that I should drive as she could no longer drive due to sight loss as the result of a stroke she had earlier that year. She guided me through the streets, along the highway and directly to the new house where she opened the lock box and ushered me in. Phyllis floated through the empty house while talking design elements for every nook and cranny; she didn’t miss a beat! I was so impressed with her sense of design and more so by the fact that her vision impairment did not slow her down one bit. She did not focus on what she was unable to do but on what could be done with my assistance.

We talked intensely for quite awhile and then Phyllis got hungry, “Oh I must feed you” she said to me and then I learned something about Phyllis’s tiny frame, she could eat like someone many times larger. Phyllis enjoyed eating but Phyllis also enjoyed the social aspect of eating with someone. Over our many rushed meals we learned much about each other. By the time we had our second meeting Phyllis already felt like an old friend. She simply radiated kindness, warmth, sensitivity and understanding. When you were with Phyllis there were no barriers!

When I met Shane I met a man who was completely smitten with his wife of many years. We went shopping together to select items for their home. Shane had stated that for the most part he would defer to Phyllis but he had wanted to be involved in the sofa selection for his den. As we shopped they joked with each other, it was so refreshing to be around the two of them.

Our connection to each other continued to grow as the work progressed. We learned that we had many similarities and found our differences interesting to each other. We continued to share stories of our past. Phyllis was always open about the facts of her life, she didn’t hold back but rather she invited me into her inner circle. I on hand reciprocated and in only a few weeks of meeting each other we both felt a lifetime bond had occurred.

A few weeks later they closed the purchase of their new home and we arranged to meet on the site as the work was starting.

Phyllis came in and told me that she had had a brain scan and that they told her that she had a tumor which they believed was cancerous. I was devastated by the news; Phyllis tried to comfort me. I have always been a strong person with a calming personality but at this moment it was Phyllis’s strength that guided me.

We continued to make plans for the future.

Over the months that Phyllis was ill I visited with her and Shane many times. Shane’s devotion to Phyllis never waned. They continued to joke with each other on every visit. I arranged to have items brought to the house in order to make it easier for Phyllis and she reviewed each item with the precision that she had shown during our first visit.

I looked forward to each of our visits; time with Phyllis and Shane was special, they were always warm and receptive. One visit we decided to attend an antique sale together. Phyllis continued to show her tremendous sense of design as she found items in design cases that I had even walked by.

I cherished my time with Phyllis; I feel that I am better for knowing her and I thank God for the time that we shared.

Bonnie

Written by: Ron Prosserman - December 12, 2007, 2:33:34 PM
It is an honour to say a few words that represent a woman who touched our hearts and we will love forever ~ Phyllis Gordon.

Kindness, Passion, Intelligence, Caring, Commitment, Energy, Inspirational, Honest, Integrity, Sophistication, Down to earth, Thoughtfulness, Extraordinary merchant, Loyalty

I think about you everyday. You will always be remembered and sadly missed by everyone that had the privilege of knowing you.

Your friend and biggest fan,

Ron Prosserman