My Mother’s Slippers by Debra H. Goldstein
At this time of year, I think about my mother. She was a driving force in my life until her unexpected death in 2014. There are still times when I want to pick up the phone and share good news with her or ask for her advice, but I can’t. What I can do is keep a part of her with me – her slippers.
Not the pair she wore, but one of twenty or thirty pairs of the identical slippers that she hoarded. My mother was an atypical hoarder. Everything in her house was always perfectly in place and her kitchen floor was so clean that one could eat off of it. Newspapers and magazines were thrown out once read; finished books, except for ones I wrote, were loaned to friends, or donated; and clothes were stylish but took up no more than a closet.
Her hoarding fetish involved shoes. She loved them. Because she had a hard to fit foot (super narrow and only a six or six and one-half), if she found a pair of shoes to fit, she bought them — in every color. If she found something she loved was going to be discontinued, she stocked up on them. The thing about my mother was that she wore all of those shoes. Each one matched an outfit or a mood and while she kept them carefully boxed on shelves in her closet, she believed in wearing and enjoying them.
After she died, my sister and I relished the memory of her cute outfits and her shoes. I was only saddened by the fact that while we had the same shoe size, our feet were just different enough that the last that fit her didn’t work for me. What did work were her slippers. She had found a pair of step-in flower-patterned slippers that she loved because they were narrow enough to stay on and soft enough not to rub her foot. She wore that particular brand for years and when she discovered they were being discontinued, she bought up every pair she could find. When she passed away, there were twenty plus pairs that had never been worn. I tried one on and they were perfect. Although I didn’t take them all, I brought several pairs home with me. Seven years later, morning or night, I think of my mother as I step into a pair of her slippers. The wonderful thing is that I know she will still be with me for years to come because of the ones I have yet to begin using.
Do you have anything passed down from a parent that reminds you of them regularly or that you have that may give someone continuing memories of you?