My Kelly Story
I try to think of my life in chapters because there’s a sense of growth and momentum toward the future, giving permission to different periods of my life so that they may have a beginning and an end. Not every chapter is as perfect, or as profound, or as difficult as the chapter before or after, but they transition into each other, and hopefully, like any chapters in a good book, they keep getting better.
In one of the most recent chapters of my life, I was there when my friend Kelly got the news she had stage IV breast cancer and a week to live. I was there when she wanted to fight for her life. I was there through her final days. And in the end, I was there to celebrate her life with everyone who loved her—the only way we all knew how—with tons of laughter, tears, music, stories, and some good ole Texas fun.
Kelly was as hilarious as she was talented and incredibly loyal. What was said in Kelly’s makeup chair stayed in Kelly’s chair. Guests to Kelly’s chair were greeted with a warm, cozy Kelly hug and a giggle, and chair-time always turned into whispered therapy sessions. Eventually, I didn’t even care about the hair and makeup. I just wanted to be around Kelly.
A few months before Kelly’s passing, a motorist took the life of another dear friend of ours while he was out riding his bike. So many wonderful things were happening to honor him, and Kelly remarked that he would’ve loved to see it all—how much people loved him. Little did I know that I only had a few months left with my sweet Kelly, who only went to the hospital after she couldn’t shake that pesky flu.
When Kelly was at the end of her journey, when the chemo treatments were doing more harm than helping, she finally made the decision to go to hospice. At first I wondered why she had to suffer those agonizing weeks, but as the hordes of flowers, cards, letters, and friends started spilling into the little Kindred Hospice in Fort Worth, I thought back to our conversation. Eventually, the nurses at the front stopped asking whom people were visiting. There was standing-room-only for Kelly, as she lay in bed and told stories. Her pride and joy, her four-year-old son, Gunner, could be heard running up and down the hallways, yelling about zombies and cockroaches. He didn’t understand why his momma who used to play with him and paint his face with scary makeup (as he requested) was now so tired and spending the night in a place filled with other tired people. As hard as it was to share this journey with Kelly, I had the honor of witnessing just how much she meant to so very many people and just how much love she had for others, and just how much her child could fill her heart up with light and joy.
I’m forever changed by this experience, seeing my friend in ways I’d never seen her before. She couldn’t have been more beautiful. Most people would’ve given up when everyone, including a team of experts, had given up on them. But her dignity, integrity, and grace grew from her courage, and I’m renewed because of it. It was in this moment of strength and courage that a group of us started to come together. We wanted to do something to take care of this single mother’s pride and joy and create something that would remind Gunner just how truly special his mama was to all of us. Their love for each other and for Halloween became our inspiration, and thus, Friscovania was born.
Through our collective efforts, we’ve partnered up with FC Dallas, City House of Collin County and the City of Frisco, which has designated this event The Mayor’s Safe Trick-Or-Treat Zone. Mayor Maher Maso and his wife Cindy Maso are our honorary hosts known as the Count and Countess of Friscovania.
Friscovania begins through the West Gate at Toyota Stadium. Waltz through the “Witches Brew” Winstar River Club and boo-gie to the beat. Jump in “Vlad’s VIP Lounge” El Jimador Terrace and sink your fangs into mouthwatering morsels by Legends Catering. Step onto the black carpet for Frights! Camera! Action! by renowned fashion photographers. Trick-or-treat through the haunted carnival or slip down to the “The Boneyard” Budweiser Beer Garden’s main stage for some undead entertainment. Wear a fun costume and you might just win a spooktacular prize!