happy, happy

My friend, Angela, is one amazing woman, and if you don’t know her, you should. A voracious reader, a tenacious seeker, a sensitive, thoughtful woman who coined the term “theel” to bring together thinking and feeling as a way of being in the world, Angela is intensely loyal to her friends, her family, her causes. Having survived an abusive marriage, Angela is now putting the final spit polish on her memoir, and let me tell you: it is truthful and it is captivating. Thoroughly dedicated to ridding the world of domestic violence, Angela and her cohorts have just launched In Real Life, a web site dedicated to providing information, support, resources, and a safe place for vitally important discussion and equally important hope for those in abusive relationships. It’s the kind of thing she does, the kind of thing she puts her heart and whole self into.

Three weeks ago her beloved Gracie died, and Angela goes through grief as she goes through life: with grace and humility, and frankly, an inquisitiveness that is simultaneously admirable and touching. Like the ancient Greeks, Angela dedicates herself to becoming the best person she can be. Despite her advanced degrees, when it comes to learning, she’s a sponge. When it comes to living, she is fearless. When it comes to loving, she is indefatigable.

So here I am, using capital letters and squeaking in at the very last minute of her birthday 2011, mere minutes before I turn into a pumpkin to say:

Happy, birthday,







I love you, my friend.


  1. Lindsey

    Another Angela fan here, chiming in to say happy birthday.  Thank you for this beautiful celebration of a woman whose words enrich my life regularly (as do yours, Jeanne!)

    • whollyjeanne

      Lindsey, I just flat-out love you. Love your spirit, love the way you see the world and its inhabitants, love the way you sling words together. You are an inspiration.

  2. Meredith

    Happy Birthday to her! I’m sorry she had to lose a beloved friend so close to her birthday, but I’m glad her furry friend blessed her life. They do indeed leave paw prints on our hearts forever.

    • whollyjeanne

      Exactly, Meredith. Gracie graced Angela’s life and vice versa. I like what you said about the paw prints – there are, indeed, paw prints all over Angela’s heart.

  3. Angela

    Wow, I am late to my party.  The “barefootheart” email just popped into my inbox, and I looked forward to what Jeanne has to say today, only to find “Surprise!” I am (nearly, of course) speechless, definitely tearful, and infinitely grateful.  I love you, too, Jeanne. 

    • whollyjeanne

      You aren’t the late one, my fear, I am. Got this up minutes before midnight. Thank goodness cause orange is not my color. XO

  4. Julie Daley

    Wow. One beautiful friend celebrating another beautiful friend. It doesn’t get any better than this.

    Happy, Happy Birthday dear Angela. You walk with Grace, in more ways than one… Congratulations on your site. I’m thrilled more women are going to receive your wisdom.

    Big love to you both.


    • whollyjeanne

      Oh Jewels, you are a treasure. And a real party girl to boot.

  5. Alana

    What a gorgeous tribute from one amazing woman to another. It makes my heart glow to read it. A very belated birthday to Angela and a huge congratulations on the new site. Will be spreading the word…

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