Tuesday, January 17, 2006


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." So began Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, and so describes the night I had.

My son and I were enjoying a rainy night in the hot tub after dining on the couch watching Back To The Future (the trilogy was on sale at Target for under $23). I thought to myself, does life get any better than this? I know it does, but not much.

After the pump shut off twice (40 minutes) it was time to get out. "Dad, where's my shoes?" Sure enough, both our pairs of flip flops were gone.


While we were lounging in the tub, he had come into the tub enclosure and taken all 4 of our shoes. How many trips did he make to do this? I found all four of them in a corner of the lawn he likes--chewed to pieces.

I can replace my son's for a dollar or two at Walgreen's. Mine cannot be replaced. They were my brother's. It's been a few years now, but still I think of him whenever I put on those leather sandals. Same when I put on my jacket--his jacket.

I don't need reminders. I can remember him any time I want to. But it's not the memory, it's the touch, you know? He loved those shoes, wore them everywhere. He loved that jacket--looked good in it, too. When I put them on now there's more than just a mental memory. There's something to the touch.

I lost part of that tonight. And I ache.


Anonymous said...

Darren -- Thanks for sharing. I completely understand what you are saying and I am sorry.


Darren said...

Thanks. I'm still pretty beat up about it. Part of me says I'm overreacting--it was only a pair of sandals, after all. The heart is overruling the head here.

Amerloc said...

One of my father's neckties hangs in my collection. I can't see it, much less wear it, without reconnecting with him on a different level than when he settles for dancing through my thoughts.

Though one of the thoughts right this instant is of the time when we were building our house and the neighbor's dog stole one of his gloves and took it home to chew. Dad, of course, followed the dog down the mountain and retrieved his glove.

I understand your loss. You're not over-reacting.

Joan said...

Definitely not overreacting. I have a jacket I cannot give away for the same reason. The tactile memory evokes a different kind of emotion - stronger is some ways.

Lillian said...

Amerloc is right, you're not over-reacting. Your pain is real. After my best friend passed away from her five year battle with breast cancer at age 50, I would call her phone just to listen to her voice. I was thrilled that it hadn't been disconnected yet, and I had really planned to record it...somehow...before it was. But I didn't. So when I heard the recording saying that the number was no longer in service, I felt like someone falling through the air with a broken parachute.
The recorded voice, the cheerful greeting, the blessing she always gave, were like the sandals you wore. No more.
Now the real grieving begins. Let the process continue, Darren. Sandals and outgoing messages cannot last forever, and you will find that the grieving won't last forever either. But just like everything, and everyone...this grief too, shall pass.
God Bless You.

An Educational Voyage said...

Sorry... May you know no more sorrow...

Darren said...

An Educational Voyage: Had you not said "Sorry" at the beginning, I'd have thought you were wishing me death! That is, after all, the only way to know no more sorrow.

Anonymous said...

Peace be unto you

Chris T