While my husband stood at the end of the isle and patiently waited for me to try on at least a half dozen pair, he made a few comments as to which ones he liked best. I didn't know that it would be this hard. As I looked down at my feet, I couldn't help the tears that began to form in my eyes...trying hard to hold back all of the emotions that was connected to this old ragged pair of shoes that I had worn into the store. I SO wish they were new again... I wish that I could buy them all over again just like it was the day I actually came upon them..nearly 18 years ago.
It was another typical Saturday afternoon when my mom called as she so often did, and wanted to go to Walmarts (yes, with an 's'). She wanted to buy her another pair of black shoes because hers' was 'just about to wear out.' As we enter the store she proceeds straight to the shoe area and locates her favorite shoes. I am sure she told me at least a dozen times just how comfortable those black shoes were that she had on her feet, and that she was going to buy her another pair just like them. Actually this would be her third pair. Same color. Same style. Same size. She insisted that I try a pair on too, and so to make her happy, I did. Surprisingly they were actually pretty comfortable.. She says to me, "just put them in the cart, I'm gonna buy you a pair too." Well, we argued over this idea, because there was no way I was gonna let her buy me a pair of shoes.. cheap or not!.. I told her, "No, you put yours in the cart and I will buy you a pair." ... I won! I would not have thought it at the time, but those cheap ole Walmart (s) shoes quickly became my favorite pair... I wore them to church, to work, to shop, everywhere I went. Yes, my mother was right again... those were the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. I can honestly say that I got way more than my money's worth on that buy!
So here I stood, looking down at the old, dirty, worn out shoes on my feet, thinking about the twinkle in my mother's eyes at the thought of getting herself a new pair, and the feisty little attitude she had at wanting to buy some for me. I was so overcome with emotion.. thinking to myself, "this is silly, they are just an old pair of shoes," but I couldn't shake it... in the check out line I finally got myself together enough to share with my husband that those old shoes were special to me because I had gotten them on one of the many shopping sprees with my mom and she picked them out.
Even though I have looked at Walmart (s) several times in the last year or so to see if they still had those same shoes, I have never been able to find any. I guess they are out of style these days. And yes, like my mom, I would have bought another pair just like them. Same color. Same style. Same size.
I like my new shoes well enough I guess, although they really are not as comfortable as these old ones. I will continue to wear my old black fake leather shoes here around the house and out in the yard until they no longer have a sole. Even though these old shoes took me to church, and to the nursing home to visit my mother years later, and to all the special places that I have visited with my family and friends, to me they still have soul. They will serve me a couple more years as I plant my flowers and tend to my little garden, for those are the places that I find to be more surreal these days. There is just something about when they are on my feet that brings a bit of my mother back to me. To most people they are Just An Old Pair of Shoes, but to me they are so much more....they are a very precious memory embedded in my heart....and as all the other memories... I will cherish them forever ....................