Murals, Mustangs, and a Memorial...

Dress: LOTUS (last year), Belt: Banana Republic, Shoes: Aldo, Bracelets: Target, Phone Case: Mobilexpressions from Target, Ring: Pink & Blue, Watch: Michael Kors, Purse: Shop Olive Online, Earrings: Aldo Accessories

I drive by this mural in South End (on the side of the Charlotte Art League building) a couple of times a week. I always admire it, but have never stopped my car to take a closer look. When I put this dress on this morning (to wear to church and brunch), the colors in it reminded me of this mural. So, after brunch, I drove to check it out (and to do an outfit post). When I pulled up, there was a car in the parking lot. I was secretly hoping it would drive off (it's embarrassing taking pictures of yourself in front of people...you want to run up and explain that they are for a blog...blah, blah..blah, but then you wind up looking like a narcissist AND a crazy person). The car didn't drive off though. The engine turned off and a  woman got out of the car. She was friendly, probably in her early 50's, wore bright lipstick, and drove a bright yellow Mustang. I kind of loved her already. Then, she told me that she is an artist and has studio space in the back of the building. She also told me that the artist who painted this mural just passed away. A mental picture of a funky old lady, who dressed eclectically, and had hundreds of cool stories from years of being an artist popped into my head. (For some reason I pictured this artist as a woman, not a man.) When this woman, Cynthia, said that the mural artist had just passed, what I did NOT picture was a 32 year old. A woman my age. Cynthia, went on to explain that the artist, Carlleena Person, had been in a car accident about a month before her 33rd birthday. She was admitted to the hospital, and later died of complications. Her memorial service was held on what would have been her 33rd birthday (a month ago, today in fact). I put a search string into Google when I got home and read about Carlleena. I teared up. I was really touched by the whole thing. The life and spirit of Carlleena (who I didn't know, but somehow thought that we may have been friends had we known each other), the artist I met in the parking lot, the impromptu conversation we had about esteem and living more fully when you feel good about yourself (after I told her what my blog was about), and the impact of a mural that now stands in remembrance of a life taken too soon. As Cynthia said during the course of our conversation..."we just never really know when our last moment is going to be, do we"? Have we all heard that before? Yes. But, how often do we really let that sink in? Inspire us? Motivate us? Not often enough I'd say. 

If you'd like to read more about Carlleena Person, you can do so here.


  1. Melissa,
    This is magnificent in every way! The dress paired with the wall mural, the accessories, and your photos are fabulous as always. Thank you for making me feel normal about the whole taking photos of yourself thing! It is just FUN!!!!
    Best, Whitley

  2. Hahahaha...Whitley! You may be the ONLY person who gets just how awkward it is to be busted when trying to do a blog post. "Hey...yeah...thanks for staring. Yes, I am taking pictures...of myself. Now, go one...SHOE...GET outta here and leave me to my self-timer"! LOL
    Thank you for the sweet feedback. I LOVE when you comment! Makes my day!!! <3 Mel