Dear Julia, Grace and Isabel,
It was 2rd grade and Grandma Jayne decided to torture me. I know it’s hard to believe that a woman like Grandma Jayne would go for torture with her own child, but don’t let sweet little Grandma fool you.
I was eight. She took me to JC Penneys and said, “pick out your shoes for school”. So I did. I found these amazing boots. These hot little boots were black shiny leather, with a flat finish at the foot. I knew these boots were innovative, unique in style, and fabulous with fashion.
We bought the boots…and then Grandma said, “you can’t wear the boots until school”. I had to wait for 1 and 1/2 months before school would start. Grandma Jayne kept those boots in her closet. I remember sneaking into her closet to put on my boots just to check my feet out. Waiting until my fashion debut was torture. I also remember my mom (Grandma Jayne) swearing me to secret about the cost of the boots. I wasn’t allowed to tell my dad, so they must have been expensive.
The day school started, I took those shiny boots out of the box, and put them on my feet. I felt confident and sassy and ready for the 2nd grade. I felt lucky!
I’m not quite sure what made me remember those boots. Maybe it’s all the shoes that Isabel has collected for kids in Kenya. I keep thinking of some lucky little second grader that will get a new pair of shoes this next week. It makes my heart so happy!
In my 16 years of being with Compassion as an advocate, I have learned that shoes are a luxury. So are toothbrushes, soap and underwear. I am still messed up by the kids I met in El Salvador who proudly showed me their new pair of shoes, and when I looked down at their feet I saw old, worn out tennis shoes.
Why did I get black shiny boots as a kid, when these precious children only get old, worn out tennis shoes? It doesn’t seem fair.
I am relieved you girls have met children who live in poverty. I am glad you have noticed the little things, like holes in their clothes and no shoes on their feet. It’s compelling you and I am seeing this.
Isabel, thanks for collecting shoes. Thanks for putting your compassion into action. Thanks for helping some little girl feel sassy and some little boy run fast. I am proud of you. I am proud of all you for supporting Isabel’s efforts. Keep the compassion flowing!
Love you all so much,
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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