I've had a couple of people ask me why I want to name Nicholas after a friend. I guess maybe it does seem a little odd, unless you know the entire story. Then you understand that she was (at least) indirectly responsible for our entire relationship. Add that to her inspiring life, her faith, the way she unconditionally loved everyone she ever met, and the way she fought to the very end to live her life as fully and as completely as possible, I could think of nobody better to name my son after. She affected my life in more ways than I can count, and I have taken on the responsibility of living a life that will reflect her legacy.
But the story you want to hear is this one: The Story of The Red Shoes.
I was feeling pretty unsure about things with Jon at first. Not about how I felt about him - after meeting online and talking as long as we did before actually meeting, I knew he was someone I really wanted to get to know. But I was really not sure how he felt about me. He was so shy that he never even tried to hold my hand, so I was convinced he didn't like me. I talked with Nicole about it because I knew she was great with people - she just seemed to have an insight about people and their feelings, even if they had never met - and she told me if I wasn't comfortable making the first move, I should just buy new shoes. Red ones. And wear them on a date. She said something she often said "people remember red." And she also reminded me that he wouldn't have been asking me out so much if he didn't like me. Which, of course, made perfect sense, but I wasn't thinking clearly at the time!
So I made a big deal of buying new shoes for our date. I posted on Facebook that I was on a quest for the perfect shoes, and then when I bought them I said "I Found Them." That night, Jon took me to see A Midsummer Nights Dream at Theatre 98. He held my hand for the first time, helping me walk down the stairs during intermission. We had a romantic walk on the beach after the play and then he took me home. And he kissed me goodnight.
I wasn't unsure anymore after that. :) I'm pretty sure that was the night I fell in love with him. (awwwww... sappy)
When I asked Jon later why he kissed me that night, he said something along the lines of, "I knew you liked me because you bought new shoes for our date." I think later when he saw how many pairs of shoes I had, he probably changed his mind on that, but nevertheless, Nicole's plan totally worked. I remember calling her the next day to tell her about the goodnight kiss and she was so excited. She said "red shoes work every time," and laughed that musical, infectious laugh that we all loved so much.
So even if it may have happened eventually, it happened that night because of the red shoes.
I can't even wear them anymore because my feet are swollen, but I still have them. I actually tried to squeeze my feet into them for Nicole's Celebration of Life service, but they were just too small. I hope when Nicholas is born, my feet go back to their normal size so I can wear them again, but even if they don't, I will never get rid of them. They mean too much to me.