A wedding anniversary lesson from my shoes

Yesterday Marshall and I celebrated our 6th wedding  anniversary. I spent the first half of the weekend clearing out old shoes that have accumulated in my closet over the course of 10+ years. Each one had its own memory. Some people collect stamps – I collect shoes. Caroline had come over to watch the children for us while we went to a marriage conference at our church for the weekend,

“I used to wear these with a red and black floral dress,” I said pointing to a pair of black T-strap sandals. And I used to wear these all the time work…when I was thin, single and had some money.”

My face advertised the disappointment I was (apparently) feeling. Six years into my marriage, and I was still lamenting the loss of my life as a single woman. My kids were throwing our freshly laundered clothes onto the floor and mashing Cheerios into them. I didn’t even care. All I could focus on at the moment were my carefully selected companions that I was about to toss into a Goodwill bin, as though our years together meant absolutely nothing.

“Well, this is a new life you have, Malaka,” Caroline said. “It’s a new beginning. You shouldn’t be sad on your anniversary day!”

I peered at my shoes again. In just 6 short years, I had progressively gone from a size 9 to size 10, my feet getting bigger with each child. As I looked at the soles of the 9s, I was suddenly struck by how dusty and worn out they were…some of them to the point of near disintegration. I had danced, run, sauntered, shopped and picnicked in these shoes. I had gone on dates in some, and had my heart broken in at least a few others. But all of that was behind me now, and I had neither use for many of those memories nor many of those shoes. In a fiat, I felt the strength to let them go.

What use are 6” platform heels at the zoo anyway?