Some people say that "internet friends" aren't really friends... not so, says we! For we met and courted thanks to the internet. Without it, there would be no Naomi & Sam, and as for being real friends, we'd say 5 years of married bliss definitely isn't a fluke.
On Thanksgiving day, we lost a beloved friend. Many did. She was a tower in the online community we had created during the advent of the Lord of the Rings movies and after they came and went. She was kind, funny, and full of the best advice. Some even called her The Queen of the Universe. We feel blessed to have met her even just once... and for far too short of a time! She was a true friend, and in our hearts, always will be.
Every time I (Naomi) put on mascara, I think of Sheila. When we first crossed paths online she was battling (and beat) breast cancer, and she didn't have any hair, thanks for chemo. As soon as she started growing eyelashes back, I mailed her a couple tubes of mascara. She was so thrilled to have a reason to use it! And she cautioned me to never take hair for granted- she said to be grateful for every little one! Why she even wished for a couple chin hairs to pluck!
In Dec 2006, two crazy kids met in Chicago for the first time since their online friendship had started... cemthinae (aka Naomi) and The Tennis Ball Kid (aka Sam). A mutual love of Tolkien, photography and film scores had required that we be best of friends, and that we meet in person.
We soon grew in love, and decided to marry. With our sudden courtship came a lot of well meaning friends and family giving advice. Through it all, Sheila's wisdom stands as one of the best tidbits we ever received as a couple. While we were still engaged, she told us that the key to a good marriage (she believed) was to hash out your expectations before you embarked on the journey. And we did. Pen and paper, telling each other what we truly wanted from our marriage.
And it worked. Sheila, it worked. We cannot thank you enough.
Six year later, to the day, we are more than we ever thought we'd be.
namárië, dearest vison.