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In my wondering through the empty house today, I came across a box full of shoes that I had never unpacked and put in my closet. As I pulled pair after pair out, memories of my husband came flooding back. This pair he bought for our kayaking. Another pair of hiking shoes to go with the many he had already gotten me.
I came upon a pair I bought for casual Fridays at work. Dick hated them. He said they were ugly and matronly. They were so comfortable though. |pulled them out and put them on. The cushiony soles felt divine.
Dick was right though. They are ugly. Much like I feel today--hair thrown into a ponytail and in desperate need of a serious coloring and haircut, clothes hanging off of my shrinking body, dark circles under my eyes, and I'm sure, an aura of sadness surrounding me. The shoes seem to go with this new "outfit" of mine.
As the day went on and those shoes saw me through my errands, I remembered my casual Fridays. After work, Dick and I would head to the local Italian eatery for dinner. Many evenings of smiles, laughter, conversation, and wonderful meals did these ugly shoes see. I looked at the shoes again. Maybe they are ugly, but they bring a sense of comfort far beyond the physical kind for which I first noticed. They connect me to a time when my husband was healthy. A time that is so easy to forget when your most recent memory is of the cancer that took him away bit by bit.
Those shoes did not go back in the box. They may go with how I feel and look these days. However, they are a gateway to good memories. I need as many of those as I can find.