Sunday, June 19, 2005

My Dad's Shoes.

When I grew up, we weren't wealthy people. My Dad did his best and earned an honest living. He struggled to make ends meet. He instilled in me the value of education, decency and hard work. He is quite a father.

A day to honor him simply isn't enough.

I never really felt impoverished as a child. I recall one time when my father bought me a pair of shoes. They weren't flashy, but they weren't cheap either. The next day I saw him return from work, tired and hungry. He came to my room and asked, "How are the new shoes holding up?" "Fine, Dad. Thanks." "Are they comfortable?" "Yup," I replied.

As I slowly walked towards his room, I edged around the door jam and saw him taking off his dress shoes. I looked closely and saw him painfully rubbing his feet. As he took his socks off, I saw red callouses, his skin nearly bruised. He never bought nice shoes for himself. Never. He always purchased cheap, heavily discounted shoes. Despite having spent his hard earned dollars on good shoes for me, he never indulged himself in a fancy pair.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch tells his daughter Scout, "You never understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." On that day, I realized my Father's undying willingness to do anything for his children, despite whatever pain it caused him. For the first time, I understood him. A few years later, he purchased another pair of shoes. I remember taking his old shoes and hiding them in a box in the garage. I still have them. I only hope I can explain to my future children how hard their grandfather worked to give his family everything. I pray that I will one day be as courageous and self sacrificing a father as he.

It'll be difficult, they're big shoes to fill.

14 Comments:

Blogger RT said...

Those shoes usually are, Vavoom. But I have no doubt that you will.

(And here you questioned whether we have any great leaders left in this world... tsk tsk ;o) )

Your post brought back a lot of memories. My father wasn't around much before he died, so I would have to say that my Mother was the best Father a person could ask for... I just wish I would have been thinking about that earlier today. I would have told her how much it meant to me that she stepped in to filled both roles.

:D I'll tell her when she wakes up!

1:44 AM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:29 AM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

Nice post, Vavoom. Made me remember some of the sacrifices my Dad made for me too. He was in the military and was gone a lot, but I know he went without to make sure I was happy. Thankfully he's still around, so we're able to make up for lost time.

7:30 AM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Great post..Those words of Atticus were indeed most wise.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Lifetime Television said...

Wow. We need a new writer. Want a job?

1:35 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Great post.

I can remember when my father was on strike against the telephone company. We lived on Long Island; he took a job in Manhattan loading and unloading fruit. He had to get up every morning at 4:00 am, and we didn’t see him until 9:00 p.m. or so. This went on for three months.

All for us.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

You are so lucky to have such a great man to call your dad. I too feel very blessed and love my dad dearly.

6:52 PM  
Blogger boabhan sith said...

That's truly awesome.

He sounded like a truly great man...a truly great Father!

8:02 PM  
Blogger Danilo da Silva said...

its funny isnt it, how much we can learn through small gestures... Its funny how actions demonstrate feelings a lot more then words.

Good pleasant memories you have and thanks again for sharing.

8:13 PM  
Blogger thc said...

Sound like you have a wonderful father! But I'm a little worried about you and those old shoes.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cherish the moment - for me,I wish it were just old shoes. The last ti meI saw my daddy alive, he was apologizing for not being able to give me enough - he had not realized that what he gave me in love, thought and spirit far outstripped any materialistic good a man can give a child!

Give your dad a hug from me!

9:26 PM  
Blogger Rattie said...

Wonderful entry...thank you for sharing.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Camphor said...

Oh my. You do write beautifully. You do. I'm sure you'll do your best trying to fill those shoes. And that's probably the best tribute you can give him.

*smile*

4:26 AM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

Awesome post, Vavoom. B) I think I'd like to do that with my fathers shoes but he really wears them until they fall off.

7:26 AM  

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