It is said that we wear many hats in our lives. I think that we also wear many shoes.
Some shoes teach us how to walk. The little white Stride-Rite shoes that hold our ankles steady as we learn to take our first steps are precious.
Others, like our Converse or Nike's, help us run faster and jump higher.
There are those that make us fashionable. Or, haunt us because of the fashion failures they were!
The shoes we wear every day are the ones that help us earn our livings. They might be high heels or they might be work boots. Either way, they are part of the job.
Today, as I think back five years ago, I am remembering the last day my dad was with us. I am thinking about how he wore all of these shoes in his lifetime.
He learned to walk in a little, backwoods town in West Virgina. He moved to another little town in Kentucky where he wore his tennis shoes as he played basketball. Actually he was the manager, he wasn't near tall enough to play for the John's Creek Bearcats!
I can remember the dress boots of the 70's that he wore. You know, the kind that zipped up the side and had a square toe.
I also can remember his work boots. They were always right beside the door going out to the garage. He wore those boots for 30 plus years to Chrysler. Then, when he came home in the evenings, he would wear them in his own garage while he worked on cars. He always called them his brogans....go ahead, look it up, see what a brogan is!!
He wore a lot of shoes in his lifetime. They took him to places that many would think as simple or even boring. But the journey that he took in his shoes is what made him the man he was.
He wasn't perfect. He had a temper that would ignite in a moments notice. But he was genuine. He was who he was and he didn't try to be anything different. That is what I remember and admire about him. How he wanted to be the best he could be, but he wasn't going to try to be something he wasn't just to impress others.
He didn't care that the outside of our garage door was multi colored because of the over spray that covered it from the cars he painted. He knew that was just a result of his hard work that provided for his family.
He was just as happy with a fried bologna sandwich as he was with a juicy steak. He enjoyed nice things, but didn't put much stock in them. And the thing is, that even if he was around someone who had more material things or maybe was a little more refined then he was, he didn't care. If it were lunch time, he would offer to make them a fried bologna sandwich right along with his and not even bat an eye.
He walked through his life in his different shoes leaving his footprints where ever he tread. The most permanent one is the print he left on my heart. I miss him. That is why I cherish these shoes of his. They remind me of the kind of man he was. Simple, classic and genuine.
I would never wish that he was still here. No, he fought his battle and now is resting in his reward. But I do wish I had just a few minutes to talk with him.
I want him to know how smart and cute Amber is. I want to see the pride in his face as he looks on Chris, Elizabeth and Stephanie. I want to see him hold his great-grandson and smile at him the way he smiled at my babies. I need for him to snatch Brad up by the collar and tell him how much he loves him and how he knows he can beat his problems.
Yes, I miss him and want him to be here with us. But I will wait. I will wait until I can walk with him in the new shoes he wears now. The ones that he wears as he walks with Jesus. I will tell him all about it then.
20 hours ago