keds. black. size 6 ½ M.
it’s not the tattered shoes that mean a lot, it’s the person who wore them.
empty they have been for eleven years.
those shoes represent love, patience, understanding, maturity, selflessness, hard work, humbleness and laughter.
they bring back memories and aromas.
smells of blooming 4 o’clocks, pot roast and perfume.
memories of breezes cooling the sweat pouring down our faces.
i can still see her blue eyes sparkle.
she was a God fearin’ hard working woman getting her hands dirty in the earth and selling sacks and sacks of avon.
grandma represented everything good. everything real. everything secure.
she never complained.
not even when she was diagnosed with lou gehrig’s disease.
as i stare at that empty pair of shoes sitting in a pile of keepsakes i wonder
if i can ever begin to fill those shoes…i’m afraid to try.
i’m full of impatience, faults and shortcomings.
too many to list...they make my head swim.
i wish i could chat with her once more.
i have a list topics from rearing kids to perfecting her raspberry marshmellow dessert.
i have personal questions, theories, regrets only she would understand.
alas, the shoes remain empty.
but my heart, my heart is full.
full of everything she instilled in me.
i love and miss you grandma, see you soon.
*grandma was an avon lady. i was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with her. we “avoned”, visited friends and worked outside. she taught me many things and i pray i can be at least half the woman she was. after her death i remember seeing those empty shoes on the back porch. i watched her so many times mow her own lawn and pick countless weeds. Those shoes, i couldn’t bear to throw away.