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LEARNING TO WALK IN NEW SHOES
by Lisa Robinson

The Death of my husband has opened our lives to so many learning experiences; it is difficult to describe the changes in our family.

The most difficult and painful part is taking over the role of provider and single disciplinarian. My husband's shoes are too full of our love and memories to be intruded upon by my bumbling attempts at being a father. In all honesty, he did a much better job wearing his shoes than I ever could. I found myself trying to wear his shoes to go fishing, camping, and "God help me" football. His shoes were way too big for me. Plus my attempt was very upsetting to my oldest son who pointed out the fact they were not mine and belonged to daddy. He was right! But my own shoes didn't seem to fit the new role I was expected to fill.

Here is a description of some of the shoes I've tried to wear and the pair that has seemed to fit the best.

The first pair, being ballet slippers, were too soft and had a tendency to dance away from problems just to come leaping back after the trouble was over. Needless to say the slippers were a flop. I just managed to get them off before rotten tomatoes were thrown.

The next pair won no awards from my children or myself. Army boots seemed in line with getting things under control and ship-shape. I became the general of my little army. The beds were made, kitchen patrol done, everything was by the book. My enlistees rebelled, which almost led to a mutiny, but they opted to go AWOL emotionally. I gave up when I realized the blisters the boots were raising hurt terribly, making me as miserable as my draftees.

After seeing a family counselor, I found a nice pair of jogging shoes. They allow me to make the daily dashes to school and work plus keep up with the kids. They keep me cool in the most heated of situations. They also have helped relieve some of the pain of our failed fittings. They are not my husband's shoes. They are my very own, fitted to the new life we are living. I can now look at the shoes of my husband and value all they represent without resenting the fact he is not in them. My closet is full of shoes; I do not regret the time and money spent in their purchase. Each pair has done its part to help find the pair that fits.


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