We had pulled over and began hiking a random hill in Eureka Springs Arkansas. I thought we were going for a leisurely drive so I was not dressed for such an occasion; nonetheless I followed the others up the hill. I slipped and giggled, the sound caught my son’s attention. His eyes scanned me quickly. Seeing I was unharmed he shook his head and smiled.
“Are you wearing Mamaw’s shoes?” he asked. I nodded and laughed, brushing away the dirt and leaves before wriggling my foot back into the loafer.
“You should write about that.” He said, resuming his sure footed trek.
He did not need to say more, we both understood.
I wear your shoes
I have your purse …
Filled with scraps of paper –
Scribblings of ancient phone numbers,
and a message from me, the old me.
I have your wallet –
Your social security card,
a useless driver’s license,
a few crinkled one dollar bills
and a handful of change.
I have your letters –
A few anyway,
Written to daddy
Unstamped envelopes with no address
Because there is no zip code
for the dead.
I wear your shoes –
Black loafers with a silver buckle
They fit my feet comfortably
But they pinch my heart
The sole, too thick with patience
and forgiveness and tolerance
Slows my step and weighs me down
The pain of the soft ebony leather
is almost more than I can bear
I place one foot in front of the other
Will this mile ever end?
Taken from the poetic memoir Getting Me back (The Voices Within). Those are the actual shoes written about in the photo above.
Tomorrow morning, Sunday May 14th, I will share a [more upbeat] Mother’s Day gift with my followers (please share it with yours), in the afternoon I will happily celebrate the day with my children (I hope you spend the day with yours), Sunday night I will cry myself to sleep knowing that next Sunday May 21st marks the fourth year of her passing.
Monday I will blow my nose, find something to laugh about and get busy living because that is how it should be.