I have a thing about men's shoes. It's my father's fault. When teaching me the fine art of finding a good man he said that you must first look at their fingernails to make sure they are clean and then look at their shoes. You can tell a lot about a person if you observe their shoes. Are they shined? Do they have run down heels or are they perfect? Are they in good taste, and all that. So from then on I was stuck always observing men's shoes..and fingernails. You know how people in elevators always look down...I was busy checking out the men's shoes!
I went to a memorial this past week for a young father of three children. I sat with my friends, Norma and Duane who lost their son Troy four years ago to cancer, leaving behind two daughters. Our son Jeff died three years ago this June, leaving one son. Two rows behind us sat Todd and Trina who lost their college age son Matthew two years ago. Now in the front row last Saturday sat Mr. & Mrs. Nunes, who lost their son, John, to leukemia just a week prior. All of these sons died between the ages of 19 and 49. We parents are left to deal with the grief and lean heavily upon Jesus to help us through the journey.
We get these darling little babies without shoes.So precious!!!Please note Jeff's no-frills bedding!! Again, quite different from today's trendy-themed-nurseries...but that's another blog!
It didn't seem like long before they were ready to walk outside and need their first pair of good shoes. This used to be HUGE in my era (eons ago).. they have to be GOOD sturdy, hard-soled shoes. Often their grandmothers bought them because they were pretty expensive. We suffered many an injury when stomped on accidentally by our sons in these hard soled shoes too!!
Then it was time for a pair of tennis shoes for casual wear.Cute, arent they! I tell you the truth, I don't know that I was prepared to be a mother at age 22. In my day you got married and had some children. There wasn't much more thought about it either. So at age 22 Jeff entered my life. He was a fussy little guy who kept me on the move with his bad moods and antics from the get go! One night when he was over a year old, I was picking up the living room. He finally had gone to sleep. His little pair of tennis shoes similar to the ones above were sitting on the coffee table.
They gave me pause (probably the first pause I had in regard to having a child). I picked up the shoes and held them in my hand just thinking about how cute they were, the cutiepie who wore them and I was overcome with emotion as to the responsibility I had now rearing this boy of mine. Still today when I see a little pair of tennis shoes I remember that night. My eyes were opened along with my mind and my heart all at the same time just because of one tiny pair of tennis shoes.
In no time at all the boys wanted guns, cowboy hats and cowboy boots!
After that, shoewear stayed about the same for many years...tennis shoes. Who doesn't remember their first pair of nice Nikes!
When you consider it, men really do need a lot of pairs of shoes.
It was a shock to me as a mother to find out that when my son started playing sports, a different pair of shoes was needed for each sport. His father explained to me that not just any shoe would do. They had to be sport specific!!! I was miffed about the cost for so many pairs of shoes for one young man! First he played baseball...
and tennis (WENT THROUGH MANY PAIRS OF REAL TENNIS SHOES ON THAT SPORT)!!!!!
First dress loafer...
We are all created by God as unique human beings
so no one can really fill the shoes of these men for their families.
Each had faith in Jesus and are with Him today for all eternity.
It is good to remember and thank God
for His Word which reminds us in Psalm 68:5 that
God is a Father to the Fatherless.
I take great comfort in that for the children of our sons.
May they wear their shoes in the same humble ways of their
own fathers, caring for others along the way and
living active and meaningful lives.
I was no more prepared to lose my son when he was 41 as I was to welcome him when I was 22.
I thank God for leaving the Comforter. I know Him well.
Hug your children tightly.