As I was doing my bi-annual rotation of the girls’ clothes I found Vega’s old shoes. These little red shoes were the shoes she wore to the hospital the night she was diagnosed. It is the pair of shoes that fit her best before all the cancer business. I remember vividly holding them in my hands two years ago and making the decision to keep them. They are pretty buggered so this is not an item that would have gone to Alys. Keeping them was not so much a decision- I could just simply not throw them away, being so worried and uncertain about Vega and her little life. I was utterly unable to part with these shoes, fearing that one day I might have only the shoes and not Vega.
Over the last two years I had many of these moments and I am sure I hung on to more stuff than I would have done before this trauma. I am getting better and now I do give things away, even throw “artwork” on the recycling when no one is looking.
The shoes though, I will still not part with. They are such a stark reminder of my state of mind at that time of our lives. My reaction upon finding them today is also a clue to my position on that topic today. I am reminded how uncertain I still feel about the future, how much fear I carry with me daily.
There is another picture of just a tiny pair of shoes, on the photo blog I did once, here.
What is it about shoes?
Maybe they- more than anything else that Vega owns, apart from her body- are a symbol of the perpetual motion of life, movement transporting us towards a future. And while once these shoes were an ornament to remind me that we faced the possibility that movement would forever stop for my child and all I would be left with was this little pair of red shoes… now they are a trophy of a child which grew and moved on in the face of adversity.