I am a survivor; I’m going to make it…
Come and walk in my shoes for a little while. The spring in your step will rival the trampoline and the heel cushion will help you cover great distances in record time without tiring you out. It won’t be all good, nothing ever is. Some days the tiny pebble of regret might get stuck under your shoe and poke into your sole (soul) when you try to walk. My shoes will heal and hurt you at the same time. The blisters that form on your feet, after a while of walking in them, might hurt for a while but when you pry the pebble out from under your shoe, you will literally race to your destination.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to lend you any flimsy shoes to walk in. I have a perfectly sturdy, comfortable and well worn pair shoes for you to try on. Lace them up. Every step you take will vindicate my claim.You will love life, cherish friends and adore loved ones. This limitless affection you keep dispensing will be your undoing because people won’t be the same. They won’t reciprocate as much, care as much or demonstrate as much. You will be left wondering ‘what did I do wrong?’
One fine day you will lose the most important person in your life and the bereaved daughter in you will continue searching for her dear dad in the pages of the picture albums and the books he gifted you. You won’t find him and will have a difficult time forgiving yourself for not visiting him in his last days. Your birthday will never be the same again as he passed away on this very day. You will perform his barsi every year on this day and also your birthday in the evenings. My dad loved to have a house full of guests, not only on special days, but everyday. Birthdays were a big deal for him and he made the maximum noise singing and celebrating. His larger than life persona lives on long after his going away to another realm. He is up there, dancing to the tunes only he can hear. If you really listen you will hear his boisterous ‘happy birthday’ 🙂
You will learn to be tough and smile through your tears. Your mental makeup won’t let you give up and your parent’s teachings will help strengthen your resolve to carry on in spite of the heartache and loss. You will learn to hide your pain and smile, be the life of the party. You will also learn to enjoy your company more and want to be alone with your thoughts and memories. The little things in life won’t affect you. You will be more accepting of others’ faults and forgive more. Life is too short to hold grudges, right?
Your faithful companion, loyal friend and loving baby Dalmatian, Sparky, will help you heal. She will run to the door to greet you when you come home and cover your face with slurpy kisses. She will jump onto the bed and snuggle into the quilt before you every time. Enjoy going for long car rides, with her head out of the window. She will teach you more about living life to the fullest than any life coach. She will be your joy and delight. After a long and fulfilling life of 12 years, she will bid you goodbye. Don’t be sad for she was loved and adored all the dozen odd years she reigned over your heart and home. Her passing away will chip away at your already cracked heart but you will still go on. Every knock teaches you a lesson in perseverance and courage. You never give up. You are a better person to have known so much love and kindness of loved ones in your life. Their passing away doesn’t make you bitter but better at understanding the mysteries of life. One day you might go on a solo trip to the mountains and feel the presence of your guardian angels.
There will be three more pairs of shoes in the shoe rack in varying hues and sizes. The largest pair of shoes are a number 10 in blue; they belong to the younger kid. Technically, he is no longer a kid at 25 years but a mother believes otherwise. The smallest shoe is a size 5 in black; little miss advocate at 28 years wears the baby size. The pristine white shoe in size 7 is that of the hubby dear. His shoes are as flawless as him. The brightly coloured shoes of size 6 are mine, which I am lending to you for a day. The vibrant footwear rivals my amateur artist’s soul. I crave color in life and my house is my canvas for displaying my creativity. I love to sing and dance, though I can’t do either. That doesn’t stop me from having a go at it. I believe in the saying, Dance like no one is watching and sing like no one is listening. Get ready to do a little jiggy when you put on my shoes.
You will cry hardest while watching sad films, even soap operas. Laugh a bit too loudly at comic scenes. You will cherish life more because you know how tenuous it really is. Every moment needs to be celebrated, every person appreciated, every breath revered.
By Sulekha Rawat
P.S. I want my shoes back. They keep me grounded and also help me move on. Every shoe has a story to tell and all it needs is a willing ear and a compassionate heart.