The Traveling Shoes

The Traveling Shoes

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.


Mom showing off her new shoes that would eventually travel all over Italy.

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.


About the Author

By day, Susan Hines-Brigger is the managing editor of St. Anthony Messenger. By night, she and her husband, Mark, are the caretakers and social directors for their four kids: Maddie, Alex, Riley, and Kacey.