My shoe’s strap broke today. Seven years is a good run for a pair of shoes, but these shoes were different. These were the shoes that I bought for his funeral.

The day I bought the shoes, my sister and I started our errands with a visit to the deli recommended by the church and we placed the recommended order. An intern from the hospital called immediately prior to the deli visit to get my verbal permission for a partial autopsy so that the research clinic could obtain the portion of my son’s lung needed for research. It’s strange how seven years later I clearly remember parking on the curb and sitting in the car by the ball field and talking to the doctor, slightly annoyed that my son was dead and they’d delegated this to an intern. In hindsight, it makes sense, but at the time it felt cold.

After placing our order for meat and cheese, we stopped at the Mall of America. I knew exactly the type of shoes I wanted. Plain black, but comfortable. And I found a pair of Clarks and I paid too much for them. And every time I wore them after the funeral I thought of him.

And then walking back to my desk today, I noticed the broken strap. I hid my tears well and resorted to fixing the shoe with a paper clip. Seven years and things change. Time passes. Memories remain.


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