Friday, July 15, 2011

Shoes that Tell a Story

Kir's prompt for us this week asked us to write about a topic very near and dear to many of us: shoes.
You were to write about a pair of shoes of yours or your character's. They can be real or symbolic.

Her shoes all dispersed in bags now, prepared to be carried off. If you were to take them out, stretch them before you, they would tell a story, a story of a woman. Brave. Vibrant. Loving life.

The slip on shoes dark but with splattered bleach marks. She worked hard outside in her white button down shirt, her bathing suit beneath. She cared for her roses, tended to the weeds, and kept her pool sparkling blue. The shoes were worn out, tired.  Long hard days in the Florida sun.

Multitudes of shoes for dresses of many colors, shapes and sizes crammed into many of the bags. You could also find the costume jewelry and purses to match nearby. She used these for her meetings. Or when she went knocking on doors, ready to share with the world what she believed to be the “Truth”. Many sidewalks and miles walked. Fueled by faith and compassion.

Her sneakers, white with the purple Curves on either side. Reminders of her days in the gym, or doing the circuit of machines.  Lifting.  Bending.  Pushing. Pulling. Never tired. Always active. She would often leave the younger crowd behind in her dust. She worked hard to stay healthy. Ate well. Exercised. Another reason why it never makes sense.

Her fancier shoes sequined and shimmering. These went with the gowns hidden deeper in the closet. Cruises had become an annual event. Her face would light up, and her eyes would match the gleam in her shoes. Dancing for hours, the last one on the floor. No one’s going to break my stride..I got to keep on dancing was one of her favorite lines.

But I bend to pick up the slippers. The last shoes worn. White with purple roses on the side. Her toes open to the world. Thick with comfort because the nerves needed to be cushioned, trying  to find relief from the pain. The bottoms worn down from shuffling, not stepping. I can hear the echo of the shuffle now bouncing off the walls. I gather them up and take in the scent of Avon lotions, flowery, pungent  and I can almost hear her voice..and her laughter.  They are a little big for her, she wore thick socks within them, trying to keep warm. The medicines had changed a lot. They are dotted with specks of food, maybe some crumbs. And little white hairs from her best friend and protector who would lay as close to her as he could in the bed. They were well used, she refused to lie down and quit. So much of mom within these shoes.

I slip my feet in and I can feel our souls, like one. I see so much of her in me. I hear her in my words, see her reflection in my mirror. She is so far, but remains so close.


  1. This brought tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful tribute to your mom. This line, "I slip my feet in and I can feel our souls, like one" is so powerful.

  2. Shoes can tell the story of a person's life sometimes can't they?

    I could picture each one and your mum (?) as each paragraph progressed.

    And I only realised I was holding my breath when I let in out with a sigh when I read the last paragraph.

    My Grandmother died last week and I wasn't there to pack up her stuff but I wonder what story her shoes would have told.

    Thank you for sharing this. I enjoyed reading it a lot.

    Vikki @ She Has Cute Shoes!

  3. I love your take on the prompt-taking us on a journey of your dear mother's life by showing, and telling us about her shoes.

    This was a beautiful piece of writing, and it touched my heart:)

  4. I love all of the analogies that you delved into and, of course, the loving tribute to your mom.

    This line -slip my feet in and I can feel our souls, like one- read like poetry.

  5. I am so touched by this piece Terry. Beautiful. I have a few pairs of my mom's shoes one of those being pink slippers. I love her tennis shoes. They are a little tight but I wear them sometimes anyway. These "things" bring back memories and you wrote about those memories with words from heart and soul.

  6. This was so lovely.
    I'm all choked up...her slippers pushed me over the edge.
    Beautiful writing.

  7. This was really great and your fifth grade teacher was right! You can write! I'm not sure if it was fiction or, as these commenters say, it was actually about your mom but either way, bravo.

  8. ~~What a gorgous peice of writing. SHOES! What a superb metaphor for memories.
    Popping in from LBS.
    SO glad I did .... xx

  9. So, so touching. Reminds me of my mom, too. She had shoes for every occasion and colors galore to match suits and dresses. Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I'll be back. You have a great voice!

  10. Wow. This was beautiful and heartfelt.

  11. I love the way you finish this with your slipping your feet in and feel so close with her even though she is not there.


I would love to have some feedback. Let me know what you love...and let me know what you don't.