The other day I searched for a pair of shoes to slip on so I could make one last deposit to the garbage bins. I keep a basket in the front closet for such needs. I grabbed the first pair I could find and dashed out the door. It was only on my way back to the house that I thought about the comfortable shoes and that these had belonged to my mother.
Over the last few months, we have donated, given and thrown away all of Used to Be Mother's personal effects. Only her shoes remain as tangible evidence of her existence.
Studying her shoes, I remembered the day some years ago when she purchased the Mephisto's. She needed a walking shoe that didn't hurt her feet. She was appalled at their price but the clerk assured her she would never need another pair of shoes. The clerk didn't know she was prophetic.
A very noticeable dent on the left shoe reminds me of UTBM's hammer toe. I see the stretching on the sides where the shoes made way for her bunions. The constant rubbing had worn the leather thin in those areas.
Her feet were so twisted and gnarled from years of wearing ill fitting shoes and working on her feet. I think of the epsom salt baths she would take once in a while to relieve their burning and discomfort.
I remember her gangrenous feet hours before she passed away. For the last few weeks of her life, Mum didn't wear any shoes or socks.
I put the shoes back into the basket. It's good to walk in those shoes even if it's only a few steps.
I miss my Mum.