Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Father's Shoes


When I was young (a long long time ago) my father often promised me he would wear a pair of old penny loafers like these to dance at my wedding. If I remember correctly, the shoes were already worn and old, even when I was young. Over the years, he would show them to me and say, "I still have them," and we would laugh about it. I loved the idea. But I was a renegade and never really had a traditional wedding, where there were actual guests or dancing or a  party. And now those shoes are long gone.

Have I mentioned here on the blog that my father and mother loved to dance? In fact, they met at a dance on Valentine's Day in 1947. Music and dancing were an integral part of my childhood. So, my father's promises about dancing in those shoes were steeped in a tradition of cha chas, jitterbug, the two-step, and his graceful shimmying shoulders. When his first grand-daughter was born, he made her a promise. He showed her the shoes he planned to wear to her wedding and told her he was going to dance up a storm in them.
My father's shoes
After my father died more than 20 years ago, my sister Lynn saved several pairs of his shoes because those were some of the things that stirred our hearts. She saved them for her daughters' weddings. So, it came as no surprise that she brought these shoes to Corey's wedding last weekend and asked our older brother Marc to wear them and dance. He did. He danced with Corey. He danced with our mother. He danced and danced and danced the night away in them.

Later, Marc spoke to Corey's new husband. He said, "Chris, I am wearing my father's shoes, and I welcome you to the family." Chris was a bit taken aback, unsure if it was some kind of joke. So, Marc repeated it, and Chris got the full import of it. It was a warm and loving welcome to the family sent a long time ago.

14 comments:

  1. This is such a touching story. I love that your father is so alive in all of your lives, even 20 years on. I like to believe he is somewhere, and he knows, and is overjoyed that he shoes graced Corey's wedding.

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  2. This is lovely Robin, and it really speaks to the deep bonds in your family which always are at the forefront of the things you write about most beautifully! A gracious tribute.

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  3. That's a wonderful story. Why can't everyone in the world be like this?

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  4. Wow, that is beautiful. How neat of Marc to see that the shoes got to dance at Corey's wedding. That had to have been a surreal experience for all involved.

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  5. Wonderful! It is especially touching to me today, as my husband just gave our oldest grandson two pairs of his dress shoes. I was sure no one would want them, but J was happy to get the Bally size 13's, and happier still that he didn't have to pay for them.

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  6. I'll bet your dad never dreamed of the tradition he has started. What an awesome way to welcome someone in to the family!!

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  7. Such a warm story filled with love. I wish I had these kinds of memories of my father. Your family ties are beautiful and give you all such strength. Beautiful stories continue to be shared, and I am happy to be one of the recipients. Thank you. :)

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  8. It is a touching story and a really nice way to remember your father. And I hope it becomes a family tradition.

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  9. This is one of the most genuinely beautiful family stories I've read in a long time.

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  10. What a wonderful and touching way to keep your father alive and with you.

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  11. I thought I left a comment earlier but don't see it here.

    Wanted to let you know that I have a new URL:

    talking37thdream.blogspot.com

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  12. How awesome! A beautiful memory building.

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  13. Exactly what C. Corax above me wrote. This is just beautiful, Robin. ♥

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  14. Lynn has done a great work. The old shoes fashion has returned. You can wear your father’s shoes. These must be looking gorgeous in your feet.
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