Cinderella feet.

 Lulu had the most adorable little feet. They were tiny. "Just like Cinderella" she would say (More like, "thin-du-rewlah"). She loved having her toes painted, and she would prance and flutter around the house, flittering about just barely suspended on the tips of her toes it would seem. This picture is the perfect illustration of that. She loved her fancy shoes, I used to go a little crazy with the shoes.  At one point, when she had grown out of a certain size, I literally had three-four bags of shoes to bequeath to my little niece. Patent leather maryjane's, shiny red riding hood shoes, jelly sandals in 3 colors, suede moccasins, polkadotted rain boots, Ugg boots in 4 colors and name it! Confession: I have a shoe fetish. no doubt. When I can't sleep or when I couldn't sleep in the hospital from stress or anxiety, or when I had to stay up all night with her, on alert for seizures, I would go online and shop. It's totally relaxing for me. It don't matter what size you are, how bloated or chubby you feel, how bad your hair looks, if you're pale tan red freckled whatever, shoes are ALWAYS there, looking awesome. Am i right? Of course I am.  My shoe collection had culminated into something a little crazy and last year I decided to purge. I was not wearing any of them anymore. My nights of going to fancy schmancy dinners with Hubbs or shows, concerts, fun adult parties, art exhibits, new restaurant openings, were niente. I was not wearing any of dem fancy shoes anymore. My nights going out were mostly spent at the hematology clinic. the nights were by Amelie's bedside. Don't get me wrong, I did go out to dinner with my bitches regularly, I needed to. I had to escape the insanity that was happening within my own home. There were occasionally music shows or the one night of tequila and dancing. I don't really care if people judge for me for that or not. The fact is, life has to THRIVE a bit during times of total hell.  I would see these women in the hospital looking completely pale, totally worn down, unkempt, not seen the light of day for months at a time. I made a decision at the very beginning: that would not be me.

And my TRIBE kept me afloat. Thank God for the Tribe. For y'all. It gave me humor, distraction, wisdom, advice, a safe place to vent, a nonjudgmental protective sphere where, when I felt like I was drowning, I could run to find joy and courage. But, fact was, the shoes weren't as important anymore Well, scratch that--the 5 inch stilettos weren't as vital, but the sneakers ahhhh....enter my new addiction for sneakers. Rollin around the hospital in a fresh dope pair of new balance or Adidas kicks was totally awesome. I was comfortable and looked rad. See? Shoes => best.

But the time for a purge had come, in my closet, in my life, in my mind. I think I got rid of 50 pairs. I had over 30 pairs of flip-flops and, at one point the Hubbs pleaded, "babe this is insane."   So one day, I looked in my closet...and I was RUTHLESS. Even as I write this… I have a strange urge to do it again. and at the same time I was purging my old self anyway. The young, selfish, emotionally charged, too deeply affected by everything around me Young woman. That needed to go. Emotional ties to old friendships that caused me pain, distrust, uncertainty, self-doubt.   Needy, demanding wife. The more sophisticated woman, and more sophisticated shoe collection to match, needed to be born. One day I'll have a budget for that shoe collection! Right now, however, with the passing of the greatest love I've ever known, something else has emerged. Not really sure what that "something else" is, it will take time to reveal herself, right now it's grief and lethargy.

In the funniest of ironic twists, while Lulu loved her shoes, most of all she loved being barefoot.