My Father's Shoes7:44 PM
When my father was still living, he had two pairs of Bally shoes which he would alternate in wearing for special occasions such as weddings and graduations. After being cleaned, the shoes go back straight to their boxes to wait for the next special event that would come. Because of the great care they have been given, both look practically new up until their owner passed on.
During the time I was disposing of the personal belongings of my father, I tried very hard to let go of my natural sentimentalism towards things that belonged to the people I love because I know other people can make better use of his things than a storage box. As a concession to myself, I kept the two pairs of shoes, not even knowing at that time if I will have a son somewhere in my future who can wear them. I did have a son thirteen years after he was gone but his shoes stayed in storage, somehow forgotten as I attended to the responsibilities of having a growing family.
I remember the shoes every now and then, when I get to do my general cleaning. I held on to them not only because I now had a son who can possibly wear them in the future but also because they were such in an excellent condition that it would be a shame not to wait a while longer to finally make them useful. The right time came sooner than I expected. Before this school year opened for classes, my son and I went shopping for his school shoes after making use of his old pair for two school years. That day, I was increasingly getting frustrated as we tried to find quality shoes that would not cost a fortune and then it hit me. My son who is only in Grade 6 has the same shoe size as my father (size 8) and so the decision to use the black Bally shoes was made (by me, of course) and my son was looking at me as if I was saying something unintelligible.
I do understand my son's apprehension after hearing from me about his grandfather's shoes which were in storage with us for 25 years now, and that is not counting the number of years it has served my father.. Even when it fitted perfectly and had no visible signs of damage, my son was unsure up until the first day of classes but I requested him just to try it which he acceded to. With baited breath, I waited for the verdict and it came in these words: "Ok naman pala ang shoes ni Lolo, komportable isuot. Marami sa classmates ko ganitong style din ang suot." ( The shoes of grandfather is comfortable to wear. Most of my classmates are also wearing the same style of shoes.)
That verdict overcame two obstacles: the need for comfort and the need to conform with peers. At his age, it would probably be difficult to convince my son to wear something which is not comfortable or not acceptable to the environment where he moves. As a mother, I wouldn't like my son to be uncomfortable or out of place even in times of financial strain thus I was thankful from the temporary reprieve from shoe expenses.
That said, I would like to imagine my father guiding my son through his shoes, something which he never got to do because of his early demise. Believe it or not, such a thought comforts me.