Thursday, December 2, 2010


Have you ever needed a certain pair of shoes for an event and borrowed some from a friend? They don't really fit right do they? They are already molded to their owner's feet - not yours. Good news - you get to take them off eventually.
However some people are left wearing their shoes for much longer. The grow to be uncomfortable and tight. They pinch the toes and blister the heels. You long for another pair - a pair made just for you...your comfort in mind. But you are left waiting it out. And even though your feet are swollen and aching, and your shoes are scuffed and worn appreciate the fact that they were given to you.
My shoes were given to me the day Matthew was born. I don't know who the previous owner was, but I am grateful for the hand-me-downs. The shoes I had were "caretaker" shoes, and they are the hardest shoes to fill!
Whether you are caring for your mother during hip replacement and rehab or a cousin with is equally daunting. It is never ending. There are no ribbons for first place - there is life. You won't get a medal for going the longest without sleep - you'll get exhausted. If you can not find the energy to bathe and feed yourself at the end of the day, then you'll just be smelly and hungry that night.
No one understands a caretaker more than another caretaker. We all hope for the other one that their amount of time in our shoes is short. But some will never take off their shoes - ever. Some mothers to babies with debilitating diseases will never know what it is like to soak their feet in a pool of warm water. They will leave this world only with worry in their hearts as they wonder who will watch after their child now that they are sick and leaving.
I'm lucky! I was able to upgrade. I left my painful shoes at the door and took up new ones that only give me some discomfort once in awhile. ;) At the end of the day, when all are asleep...I take off my shoes and rub my aching feet. I put them back on in the morning, wearing them with pride. How can I not smile with Matthew by my side! (totally didn't mean for that to rhyme...that's how if flowed in my mind!)
How are your shoes fitting? Could you stand for them to be a little tighter? I'm sure most of you could. Go volunteer at a hospital, homeless shelter or nursing home. Help someone by enabling them to take off their shoes and breathe a sigh of relief - just for a moment. It will mean the world to them!

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