Monday Letters – Walking in my boots

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,


2 Comments on “Monday Letters – Walking in my boots

  1. I can see your trying to sabotage my image as a wonderful, loving mom who never did anything that wasn’t perfect, and all over a pair of shoes. Can’t believe you could be so cruel and heartless.

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