Sunday, April 22, 2012

S is for Shoes

With Mother's Day approaching, S is an essay I wrote some years ago about my mother's shoes: I remember my mother's shoes--high heels, all of them. Sandals with platforms, black patent leather heels with open lacing at the toes, spectator pumps, solid ones. My mother wore heels to make her look taller than her five feet. Shes were her obsession, her one indulgence, though she could have afforded others. Her feet were tiny, beautiful. When she was a young girl in Omaha, a shoe manufacturer asked her to model for him. Her mother said no. Model, postitute--same thing in her opinion. MoShoes and her vanity over them were her downfall. Though she was wobbly, though the doctor said she shouldn't wear heels any more, she wouldn't listen. She fell going upstairs and lost her good eye when the earpiece of her glasses pierced it. I prayed she'd die in surgery that night. I couldn't stnad the thought of her living nearly blind. But she didn't die. When I wrote this piece, she was still alive. She wore ugly shoes. She hated them. Black with shoe laces and sensible rubber soles that kept her stady but reminded her she was an old lady. The remains of her youth were tied upin her shoes, and they were gone forever. When my sister and I cleaned out her house after she moved to the nursing home, we found dozens of pairs of shoes, some hardly worn. Memories of my mother's life, lined up two by two on the closet floor.



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