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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Daddy's Pink Shoes

(A fictitious story about a fictitious Dad and a pair of fictitious pink slippers)

When I was a little girl, My Daddy was my hero. He would wake me every morning with a song and a soft kiss on the top of my head. As I opened heavy lidded eyes, his smile was the first ray of sunshine I'd see. He made my days begin with perfection and at night, his bedtime stories and gentle tucks to my bed covers, sent me off to dreamland feeling secure and greatly loved. My Daddy never once made me feel he didn't have time for me. He would always stop what he was doing whenever I would come into the room to ask him to tie a shoelace or find a hiding kitten, or help me ride my bicycle.

I recall once when it was just days away from my sixth birthday, My Daddy asked me for a date. My Daddy wanted to take me out to a fancy dinner and a movie of my choice. With great anticipatory joy at this request, I asked my Mother to take me shopping to buy a special dress to wear on my date with my Daddy. As we shopped from store to store, wanting to pick out the perfect outfit, I saw a display of shoes. “Mommy,” I quipped. “I want to buy Daddy a pair of new shoes that he can wear on our date.” Mamma thought that was a great idea and took my hand in hers to walk us to the men's shoe rack. “No, wait!” I pleaded. “I already see what shoes Daddy needs, right here.” My eyes had fallen to a pair of ladies pink slippers. They were smooth satin and were a soft pink color.
“But my dear, those might not come in your Daddy's size.” My Mother was and still is a very wise and diplomatic woman. “Please ask if they can, because I want my Daddy to have the prettiest shoes here.”

And so Mother asked the clerk to please see if she could find this shoe in a size 11 and a 1/2. Much to my delight she came back from the storeroom with a box of size 11 and a 1/2 pink slippers.

The next few days seemed to drag on as I looked forward to a date with my Daddy. When that day arrived we both performed our own separate rituals getting dressed. Of course I was late putting on my final touches of just the right ribbon for my hair and finally adding the strand of pearls my Mother was letting me borrow. I went to present myself for approval to my Daddy but he was not in the house. My bewilderment was short lived though, because our front doorbell rang and when I answered it was my Daddy, dressed in his best suit, his big wide smile and his pink shoes!

If any one noticed in the restaurant or the movie theater that my Daddy was wearing pink slippers with a business suit, I didn't notice. The only thing in my focus that evening was that my Daddy as always was putting my wishes, and my fantasies first on his agenda.

Through the years, my Daddy's pink slippers are always someplace around the house. Sometimes at the foot of his bed, other times by the back kitchen door. Other times when my husband and children would visit my parents, my Daddy would make sure he had on his pick slippers. Even though they became worn and scuffed with stains embedded from his working out in his garden, those shoes remained a big part of my Daddy's life and of his routine.

My Daddy passed away last week and when my Mother and I were going through his clothes to see what might be appropriate to dress him in for his last goodbye to his loving family, my Mother said to me, “You know, I think your Dad would love to wear his pink slippers.” And so we sent my Daddy on his last journey in his famous pink slippers. I'm certain the angels were envious when they saw him.