March 1, 2015
I did something this evening I don’t remember ever doing before. There was never really a reason to. But things have changed.
This evening was my sister’s 60th birthday party. I said I would bring Dad.
He was sleeping when Xerx and I walked into his room – something he seems to do a lot of now. He smiled upon seeing Xerx. I asked if he wanted to go to Dona’s birthday party. He started to sit up. Said nobody told him about a party.
I asked what he needed. He didn’t know.
I looked at his feet. He had slippers on. I saw a need he didn’t know.
I said you’ll need shoes.
I stood there for a bit wondering how one goes about putting shoes on someone else. I was pretty sure he needed help. I was also pretty sure I never had.
Decided I needed to get closer to the project. As I lowered myself onto my knees, my mind was racing – the symbolism.
Now kneeling before him, I bent over and reached for his foot. I thought of washing feet. As I worked his foot into the shoe the story played.
We eventually got the first shoe on but something wasn’t right. The back of the shoe had folded over and was wedged in behind his heal. I couldn’t get it out without his raising his heal. He didn’t seem to know how to do such.
Was a little wiser with the second shoe.
With both shoes now properly on, I noticed dressier shoes sitting off to the side. The shoes we had on suddenly looked a little casual. This was a red-tie event …that we were running late for.
I asked if the shoes we had were his dancing shoes. I said Mom will want to dance. He said yes. I liked his answer.
Leaning back over, I started to tie the laces. I pictured him 60 years younger tying a young boy’s laces – a boy too young, too helpless, to tie his own. There was no embarrassment, only pride in having a son’s shoes to tie.
As I slowly worked the laces, I knew exactly how he felt.
It was now my turn.
And it was an honor.