A few months before my mom unexpectedly passed away, my sister took her and my dad shopping for some new shoes. My mom found a snazzy pair of New Balance sneakers. Finally she had found a pair of shoes that were stylish, comfortable, and provided her with good stability. She loved those shoes.
Shortly after her death, I was scheduled to go on a pilgrimage to Italy. I had been looking for months for the right pair of shoes to take with me. I needed something comfortable and a little classier than your average gym shoe. One night at my dad’s house, my sister and I were talking about my dilemma.
“Why don’t you try on mom’s gym shoes?” she asked.
“But mom and I have never worn the same size shoes,” I told her. She urged me to try them anyway. So I did. They fit like a glove.
How could that be? For years I had tried on various pairs of my mom’s shoes to no avail.
Before her death, my mom and I had talked a lot about my upcoming pilgrimage. She told me time and time again how excited she was to hear all about it when I got home. Knowing that I’d never get that chance made my pilgrimage one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
But about halfway through the pilgrimage, actually when I took the above picture, it occurred to me that my mom was with me. She and I were traveling the hills and valleys of Italy together, both in spirit and in shoes.