Gloria Vanderbilt was an heiress, socialite, artist, fashion model, fashion designer and so much more. Parts of her life read like a storybook fairy tale, but in real life, as it is for anyone, there were bumps, hurdles, challenges and heartbreak. Today, at 92, she is a survivor who stands strong. Her son, Anderson Cooper, CNN News Anchor, stands by her side. Earlier this year, she co-authored a book with Cooper called The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A mother and son’s views on life, love, and loss. In April of this year, HBO premiered a 2-hour documentary, Nothing Left Unsaid, which featured conversations between a mother and her son. These conversations discussed her early life as well as her family history, and all without restriction.
But all this is current, let's go back to Gloria Vanderbilt’s early life, a time when our lives are shaped by how we're raised, what we see and what we hear. In spite of her being born into the Cornealous Vanderbilt astounding fortune, she had a difficult childhood. At the young age of nine, she was at the center of a custody battle, her mother accused of being an unfit parent. The trial was highly publicized, the paparazzi hounded Vanderbilt everywhere she went, and she was often heard weeping in the courtroom. In the end, her mother lost. However, Vanderbilt went on to attend a number of schools and developed an artistic talent that would later be her signature and path throughout her life. She studied acting and art and became known for her artwork. She became a top international model and then a fashion designer, later launching her very own line of designer jeans. Her jeans were successful because they fit tightly, more so than other jeans in stores.
She married 4 times and had 4 children. In 1988, tragedy struck again when her older son, Carter, committed suicide, jumping off their 14th floor terrace as Vanderbilt, on her hands and knees, begged him not to do it. Throughout it all Vanderbilt stayed strong.
Having money allows us to make our goals more attainable. It allows us to function more easily in the world but it doesn't exempt us from hurdles we must conquer or our sense of well being. That comes from who are and our sense of optimism. There are opportunities that come into our lives every day. Look for the small things that make us smile or laugh out loud. Spend time with people you love and your heart will feel younger. These are the things that matter. When your heart is filled with joy it frees you to do what you dream about and that is the purest part of who you are.
Regardless of what happens to you, you will go through it, maybe fall down for a minute, pick yourself up and keep moving forward because that's what we do!
Thank you so much for joining us today!
Stop by Tuesday for our next blog post
Quote to take with you for the week:
“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”
– Author Unknown