Last night I bought myself a new pair of tennis shoes. Looking at them this evening brought me back to some very sweet memories. One of the many things Grant and I have always had in common was the love of a new pair of shoes. Even when he was a little boy and I worked evenings at Payless Shoes for that ever desired extra money. I’d spend most of my paycheck on the next new darling pair of shoes that stole my heart and all the loving feelings that brought me such joy that next morning when I had a box of the latest pair for one of my 3 special shes or my beloved little he ; ) These are moments all of us moms love to delight in. I never would have thought that I could so vividly think back in time… that I could have memories that are so clear. I can recall words and conversations from the past that are repeated to the exact sentence in my mind. We had a lot of shoes in our house with four sets of little feet equaling every size and that amazing 40% Payless discount. I remember one very special pair of shoes that Grant loved. He set the trend that day at the age of 4; it was around the year of 1992. Grant was one of the first little boys to wake up to the latest and greatest Ninja Turtle light up shoes that Uncle Jim said he just had to have. Running around the house with no lights on and playing no bears out tonight became a little more difficult for Grant considering he had the latest running light show in the neighborhood. This was the beginning of the shoe obsession he had and considering his flat feet seemed to wear a pair of shoes out in a month or so, there was always a good reason for a new pair. The love of shoes began with Ninja Turtle light-ups and ended with several of his favorite Puma brand. Grant would say “Most comfortable shoe made”. And in the closet they still sit. They are the ones I bow my face into just to for a minute to smell anything I can of him. I walk around the house in those big shoes thinking a lot about the phrase ‘walk in someone else’s shoes for a day’ before trying to understand or judge them. Even for myself this has become a big reality and lesson to embrace. A lesson that before losing Grant I didn’t really practice or give much thought to. I’m sure for many, it’s very hard to understand the journey my family is on and I’m sure there are days our family and friends feel like they’re walking on egg shells around us, but I understand that. I’ve walked in those shoes. I didn’t understand the depth of grief and I’ve learned that it’s okay that others find my old pair of shoes too uncomfortable to wear… I get it and I understand. I can walk backwards with understanding for they were the same shoes I was once found comfort in. I can continue to step forward with a bit of grace and understanding for every sole doing their best to continue to walk forward; just trying their best to walk a curvy back road called life. Because of you, Grant, I am a better person… because of you I will continue to grow. Below are my new shoe’s, not Puma, but Grant would approve.
Ninja Turtle Light-Ups