For someone who has never even walked on this earth, I am aware that she had a lot of shoes. There are 14 pairs that I can count at this time..but there were others that were here before.
I turn them over and see that no treads were on their “souls”, no scuff marks, no worn out edges, or frayed parts…Nope, these shoes are in perfect condition, as they were from the date of their purchase.
Yet, her soul, her being wore them on her cute little feet, her “sausages,” I called them. Oh..my..but she had the cutest of feet. They were petite, and perfect. When I would paint her toe nails, she was such a wee rascal. I would sit her in her wheelchair, put a towel on her foot pad, and attempt to stay within the lines of her nails. She would wait until I was nose to toes with her, nail polish brush dripping with laquer then move her foot.
I would say..” Bianca…no,” and make a face at her..she would giggle, scrunch up her nose, blink her eyes rapidly… then wait..until I tried again…then the process of deviancy would start anew.
I would call her ” a little turkey,” but apparently her Mummy was the only “silly fowl” in this scenario.
She was a cheeky little girl, and oh how I loved her zaney sense of humor..She got me..she had me figured out, and knew how to play me, and push my ever lovin buttons just like my two adult sons.
Don’t you just love when people “get you?” When you can act any old way you desire, and still know you are accepted and loved unbelievably well?
It’s just the best! I think we all desire this kind of crazy love. From our parents, kids, husbands, wives…aunts, uncles, grandparents…friends… We all want to just be ourselves, warts and all…and let our hair down…do the crazy dance, sing kareoke way off key, and when all is upside down, and your world implodes..these individuals hold you up..they find you..they will not let you drown.
I’m in the process of sorting, and purging. Trying to decide what to keep, what to toss, what to give away, or maybe even sell. It’s a heart wrenching process. I’ve heard it explained, that you should only keep what you love, what truly speaks to you. If I did this, I would keep everything.
The items I’ve colllected, and worn, and used throughout my life have great meaning to me. They are from experiences..life choices..events. They are my memories. I get why people end up on the show, “Hoarders.” My heart goes out to them.
In so many of these scenarios, these humans have lost someone that they loved, they have buried them. So…all they have left is their inanimate objects that they wore, or held, or used. These items become a connection for us.
The clothes that touched their skin, the bed linens that covered their sleeping forms…the shoes, that encased tiny, perfect, never before walked on feet.
These items are precious….. I’ve decided to limit myself to a few items. Some of her favorite stuffed animals, and I am keeping a variety of her favorite clothes which I hope to make into a memory quilt for myself somewhere down the road.
Then items which once covered her, can comfort me by covering me…it’s what you have left. In a way, I have to make do. Her scent has gone. I’ve sniffed her wheelchair straining to capture her distinct smell, but it seems to have evaporated from her room.
Mario, the beagle still sniffs her being there though. He enters solemnly with me, tail down, eyes searching the room. He sniffs her bed, then looks hopefully way up, thinking that perhaps in fact she is back there again…but alas, she is not. His big eyes almost seem to tear up. He wanders under her bed, thinking perhaps that is where she is, but then crawls out with dust on his black inky snout.
He goes over to her shoes, sniffing each one lovingly, then gives me the look, and wags his tail in reverence. He knows…she is gone, and he misses her too…
Then there are her videos and her dvds! Oh my…but this little girl loved her movies. She had so many…and if you put on the wrong selection, she would groan at me, as if to say, “Mother, why on earth would I want to watch that one?”
It used to crack us up how she made her choices known to us. She communicated..oh yes she did!
Choices…we are all about our choices. Sometimes we make good ones, other times…not so much. It is our ability to contemplate, and make our desires known to another, and be respected for our decisions, even if the other person doesn’t agree…that makes us feel glad, we are seen.
Bianca, in her simplest of ways let what she wanted, be known to us, to those who knew her. Obviously there were times, when my interpreting what she wanted was not clear. This led to a communication breakdown of monumental proportions.
She would cry and “fuss” at times, and for the very life of me, I could not figure out the confusing riddle of what she desired.
This was hard on me. There were many times when her inability to speak, and my finite ability to comprehend, left us wanting….more…so much more, and yet that was not to be.
Some riddles cannot be solved. Some illnesses are not cured, and people are fallible…we break…we fall out of love…we die…
But still..and so importantly we try…we don’t give up. We pick up our shattered pieces, and we dust them off, and we attempt to put them back together. This is a haphazard process.. it’s messy. There is stinky glue involved, and sticky fingers, as we attempt to put back together the shards of our lives. It does not make sense…none of it does…and so I stop trying to make it fit.
That other part of your life is over.. There is a before, and there will be an after…if we let it..and we don’t lose it…Hope that is…I can’t lose that. That is what remains…
“Faith, hope, and love…and the greatest of these is love.”….(from the Bible…somewhere)
I have often contemplated what it must have been like to be my daughter. What thoughts was she thinking, what words were on the tip of her tongue, what did she long to put to pen and ink. Did she want to draw, to paint?
I know she would have loved to ride her most favorite of creatures, the horses. She enjoyed our beagles, and got a kick out of our cats. The crazy, noisy birds at the zoo make her screech, and the snakes she touched did not frighten her in the slightest.
When she rode the merry-go-round at the zoo, she was elated. When she went in the water, she was utterly filled with joy, and when she rode in the motor boat up at the lake, she could hardly contain her rapture.
There has never been a moment when I think back on these experiences with her, and wished that I had not gone to such effort in making them happen for her….Never..I feel so at peace knowing that I made a feeble attempt to “walk in her shoes”, to anticipate the things that would bring her satisfaction, and it calms my soul to know this…I am grateful.
Shoes…I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t feel passionate about them. There are so many to choose from. I, for one, can become a tad obsessed with them…full disclosure…I adore them…
Even if a girl is having a bad day, if she is wearing cute shoes…she can look down, and she will find herself smiling..because..yes..her shoes are cute….its just that simple.
I remember when I put Bianca’s light up shoes on her. She would tap her toes on her wheelchair tread…they would light up, and she would blink and smile..
This leads me to a final parting thought… It’s very deep….Why are there no light up shoes for adults? At least I have not seen any. I would certainly buy a pair of tennis shoes that lit up..just sayin… Why should kids have all the fun after all?