I was born the winter after the 'Summer of Love', December 26, 1967. Hello world. Meet Helen Lucille Simmons-3 months old.
My grandmother, Hattie Simmons, brought me home at birth from New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital and raised me as her own daughter in Brooklyn, NY. Without her guidance, immense love and faith in me I would not be here. Period.
I attended Prince of Peace Lutheran Day School in Brooklyn, NY. By the time I was 10 years old I was drawing everyday and already editor of the classroom comic strip.
Hanging with some friends in the cafeteria at Brooklyn Technical High School, one of New York City's 3 specialized science high schools. Yeah. We had to take material science, foundry, chemistry, trigonometry and physics but we were some of the coolest machinists, chemists, industrial designers around.
In between sketches, working on theatrical shows and studying for costume design classes I managed to pretend I was a model...it lasted a day. I got hungry and I had homework.
Purchase College was the third university I attended. In May 1996 I graduated from the Professional Conservatory of Theatrical Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts costume design degree. I was working as a professional dresser on Broadway, a costume designer for theatre and wardrobe supervisor in film within a month of graduating. I haven't stopped yet.
I moved from Brooklyn, NY to Baltimore County in 2003. I was a costumer on the acclaimed HBO series 'The Wire'. Best Job Ever and Best Crew Ever!
In April 2008 I met my husband for the first time briefly (a 30 second greeting as we passed each other in a hallway). In June 2009 we met again and became friends. During an early conversation during that time when we barely knew each other he told me he recognized my laugh from another lifetime and that he had been searching for me his entire life. One year later July 2010 I was Mrs. Phil Collen. We got these tattoos a few months before we got married. They were his idea. It was a good idea.
A few years ago my husband suggested I submit photos to an exhibit held at a Rock Paper Photo gallery event in NYC. It was awesome. And yeah. I got bit by the 'photo gallery' bug so here I am.
This photo speaks for itself! We couldn’t wait for Jaxson to get here!
May 21, 2018 at 9:35pm Jaxson Philip Lucius Collen was born. He weighed 6 lbs 11 ozs. What a blessing he is! I flatlined twice and ended up in a coma for a week after his birth due to an uncontrollable bleed the doctors couldn’t find & Jaxson’s heart almost stopped before he could take his first breath. But we are FIGHTERS and we are BOTH HERE & HEALTHY. God is GOOD ALL THE TIME!
Phil and I are both survivors. He appreciates my toughness/intelligence in tight spaces and quite possibly expects it as he will quickly state, “That’s why I married you!”. I believe Phil put it best when he told me there are hills and valleys in every aspect of life and relationships. Together we excel in experiencing it all. We’re friends first and we love each other for that exclusivity, logical existence, and our flawed/genius traits too. It’s rare between two people to accept 100% of a person and we know it. So we just breathe deep, smile a knowing smile at each other and take it all in. What a great life...
(This photo was taken atop one of the Teotihuacán Temples in Mexico)
Now we feel complete. Jaxson has blessed us with a new awareness of life. We treasure each moment we get with him and with each other when time is now of the essence. No matter what, now home is where Jaxson is….We love you Lil’ Bub/Lil’ Boopa
I'm loving ALL this because I was loved....Rest In Peace, Mom. I love you. I miss you. We miss you...
(Hattie Simmons/August 12, 1919-March 4, 2015)
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Use without permission is expressly prohibited.