Friday, October 8, 2010

The Slippers

My slippers disappeared.  They were a Christmas gift from my daughter.  The only gift I received for Christmas 2010.  Oh, I forgot there was a second gift.  A lighter from my granddaughter, although I questioned why she would purchase one with a dragon design. This was ok, I couldn't give anyone a gift either. 

The slippers were special because my sixteen year old daughter knew I hated walking barefoot.  She was also probably tired of hearing my sister complain of the clickity-clack of my black wooden soled sandals that I used as slippers.  My sister also hated the sound of my slippers.  Now complaining of the shuffling noise, asking "why can't I pick up my feet." 

Never once given consideration that I work standing eight to nine hours a day on a concrete floor. Never once thinking that as much as she hated my shuffling, I found it humiliating that I had to shuffle.  My legs feeling as if I was dragging hundred pound weights.  An insufferable pain that when I would lay down I would call on God.  

She also hated the sound of my brother's slippers.  Twelve years of prison had created havoc on his feet, again concrete floors.  This along with being on dialysis caused his feet to swell and slippers were his saving grace.  In all fairness he would wear his slippers before he was diagnosed with his condition. 

He wouldn't have to say anything when he walked in the door.  She could hear him shuffling and her face would grimace.  His presence seemed to cause her conflict.

So when she complained about my shuffling I knew what she was saying "you sound like him."  She finally verbalized it saying just that "you sound like him,"  looking at me with pure hate. Giving me the same look that her face showed when he came over.  I wish I could have seen hurt on her face, seen sadness.  She thought he never knew, that he didn't see, but he knew, we talked about it.

He is gone.  That same day, Christmas 2010.  I found him dead, the day I received my slippers and my dragon lighter.

If the sound of my shuffling railed up an emotion of missing him, I would understand.  If my slippers engulfed her in emotional pain, again I would understand.   But the disdain that her face showed when he was alive, when he walked in shuffling, you are now saying the same thing towards me. Never given credence to my physical suffering. Or being proud that I made it through the day.  That I made it through. 

I searched in closets, under beds, even the garage and have yet to find the slippers.  I know they're in the trash,I know their gone.  What could make a person be so insensitive that not only were they a gift, they were mine.  My slippers were the only thing that I had that represented something good for Christmas day (and my dragon lighter).   They were the correlation of joy and pain.  Something good, something bad.

 I liked the sound.  It reminded me of him.  Yes, I shuffle but that represents victory for me, that I did it.  I made it even when I sometimes told myself I could not do it.  No one can tell me this was never her intent.  It's what I know, seen and have told.  In this bottom line she trashed him in life and in death.

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