Most people have a body part that they don’t like, some more than others. We each see our own flaws magnified, and think everyone else is looking at us too, gawking and clucking at our misfortune.
I found myself in a shoe department looking at silver shoes and sandals too pretty to be on my feet. Others had such beautiful legs and delicately trim ankles. They were able to turn pirouettes in their high heeled cage shoes with spindly heels and fashionable cut outs.
Meanwhile, I had three pairs of flats in my hands. Such is life; I have crossed the barrier where I am capable of walking in such confections of leather and lack of support.
While admiring the other shoppers, I noted three people shopping with their mothers. Another woman had just taken off her beautiful nude colored heels and reached for a pair of Keds slip on sneakers. I smiled at her and told her how impressed I was with her choice of shoes and the need for comfort. She told me that her high heels were extremely comfortable but she was picking up the sneakers for her mother who would love them.
Creeping up on the anniversary of my mother’s passing, I began to feel the loneliness and sadness that I have no right to feel. Other people have lost their mothers much earlier in life, or never known them, so I had no right to these feelings. Also, my mother suffered and died from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). In the last six months of her life, she lost the use of her limbs and her freedom. Rationally, I did not want her to continue living suffering but miss having the love of my mother.
I chatted with another woman who was trying on beautiful glittery sparkling shoes for a wedding. They looked lovely on her and I complimented her on her beautiful legs and how pretty they the shoes looked on her feet. Next, in my own insecurity, I explained that I had horrible legs which was why I hid them under maxi skirts.
In the end, I left the store without a purchase. I walked back to my car and turned on the blissful air conditioning. Then, in the quiet of a moment’s pause, I realized that I had to have gratitude for the gifts which I do have.
My legs are not horrible — because they work. I know my mother would have been proud that I understood and learned the moral of the story.
Thank you for stopping by. It means more than you know.