Beautiful Shoes and Beautiful Friends




Have your brought joy to others?
Have you experienced great joy?

The blogging world has been good to me. This week it brought me a reminder about the ephemeral nature of life and the value of friends. One of our own (a Brooklyn mom who is an amazing writer and chef), lost her husband. We gathered to celebrate his life and to show our support for the wife/lover/mom who now sets out to reconfiguring her future minus her partner.

I’??m not even going to attempt advice on that front; instead I’??m going to sing the praises of the memorial service’??a gorgeous celebration of life’??where Jennifer shined brighter than ever.

The memorial was a smashing success, life affirming, uplifting and touchingly honest. And I hope we all ponder the quote one of the many speakers provided above. Jennifer had on magnificent shoes (stick with me here it’??s not all superficial). I took it as a metaphor’??finding beauty and joy in the unexpected. I suspect that will be a theme for her over the next months and years and I hope to share in the lesson.

While the portraits (both in words and on video) of the man were deeply touching, I was equally moved by the bloggers there to support our friend’??a diverse group of women who found each other through a shared love of food, family and telling good stories online. (Note: for those of you not in NYC there’s also a peanut butter pie tribute happening–see tribute photo below.)

Jokes about bloggers being anti-social and shut-ins really miss the mark. At the memorial I gathered with more than a dozen blogging moms with whom I’??ve developed deep, real friendships. I am so grateful that Momtrends brought Jennifer into my life. I consider myself blessed to be connected to this woman who possesses such beauty, strength and poise.

So in my open condolence letter, I want to tell you Jennifer that you amaze me and my heart goes out to you.

Blogs are like any other part of the world’??you get out a direct proportion of what you put in. Brood, snipe, whine, complain, and you’??re likely to get mired in that sort of negative space. If you are lucky, if you use your words and time wisely, you might just wander into a friendship that goes way beyond the click of a ‘??follow’? or ‘??like’? button. If you are very lucky, you might just meet a Jennie of your own.

  • What a beautiful post, Nicole. So many are quick to brush off the true relationships we bloggers form online, but the friendships ARE real. And incredibly meaningful.

    I read about the peanut butter pie tribute just this morning – I think I know what we’re eating for dessert this weekend.

    • Today was such a gorgeous tribute to Jennifer & Mike. But my heart is broken for them.

  • Beautiful post Nicole. I don’t even think of many of blog friends as “blog” friends anymore. I have found true friends in being in our crazy online community and there’s a lot to be said for the support that all of us can and hopefully lend during a tragic time.
    My heart goes out to Jennifer. I don’t know her. She clearly has wonderful taste in shoes, a husband and an attitude on life. I’m sending her all of my thoughts and prayers and I’m so happy she has such a lovely day to have the service for her husband.

    • Thanks Whitney. I agree–thank god the line blurred long ago between my online and offline friends. My life is richer for all the women I’ve me in the .com world.

  • My friendship with Jennifer started online through our love of food, writing, shoes, and snark. It has since developed into a sisterhood. While I am home safely with my husband and sons, I can’t help but feel broken for her. Today was a wonderful tribute to a man who cherished Jennifer as she should be cherished.

    • Any woman that bonds over shoes is welcome in my posse. Lovely sharing tears and smiles with you today.

  • A wonderful post, but of course, one I wish never had to be written. May his memory be for a blessing.

    • Thanks Anna, it’s heartening to see the response from our community.

  • Lovely Nicole.

  • Glad to hear how the day went from someone who was there! Thanks for sharing that with us. I’m so proud to be among such a great group of blogging women, and am thankful that my life has been enriched due to my online friends.

    Keeping Jennifer and her girls in my prayers!!

    • I think she truly felt all the love that was being send out in person an online. She had a golden halo around her today. All the prayers and support have to help.

  • This is so beautiful, Nicole. So many of the relationships I’ve formed online have become so meaningful. Jennifer and her family are in my thoughts and my prayers.

    • That means a lot Sarah. We are lucky to have found our group of BKLYN moms!

  • Thank you SO much for this moving tribute and sharing with us a part of Jennifer’s day…and her amazing shoes! She has been in the heart and soul of a swath of bloggers that can not even be counted; I so hope she did feel the warmth of our heartfelt compassion and caring, even if from afar.

  • You are so right. And I feel so lucky to be part of the community that comes together for a friend during such a terrible time. (Although I whine and complain a lot, too!)

    Lovely post.

  • Beautiful post, Nicole. My heart goes out to Jennifer and her family.