We laughed at how thin the soles were becoming just last summer. We wear shoes down in the same places, placing the majority of our step on the inside of our feet. Small tears at the interior of both heels were beginning. We lamented the end of our "flippies", saddened Old Navy hadn't made more.
Our last pair broke this morning, the side strap's plug pulling through the thinning foam. I whimpered a little. Silly, I guess. Joey was quick to offer a trip to the Surf Shack so I could buy new flip flops. He has always been this good to me.
Broken flip flops.
They cost $5, but brought us so much joy. A tremendous metaphor about the fragility of those items on this earth that are truly joy-bringing and about the temporary status objects and humans actually have. How much we take for granted - to always replace a favorite flip flop - to always have those we love within arm's reach.
I placed the broken flip flops back in my suitcase. I will take them home and place them with the other favorite things I have of Big Girl's.
It's natural for shoes to wear thin; it's not natural for a life to be cut short, for parents and grandparents and family to bury a twenty-year-old so full of life we were all immediately younger just in her presence.
When I would walk in from the bug, holding the 'stray' pairs of flippies I had found in her car, Taylor would laugh coyly and offer a "Shanks, Mom." as if cute would buy her grace. It did, and I would kiss her forehead and tell her to clean out her car.
I don't know where I am on this road to acceptance or peace or contentment - I could write the bible verses here. Thoughts I have sent to others. Words to which I cling; however, I would be lying if I didn't write that I feel Longing will become a close companion. Eventually, stamina will win; God's grace will win, and we will find joy, but even the warmest and best of memories will eventually give way to Longing.
The 'flippies' will join t-shirts, soft blankets, an empty lip gloss container, endless pictures, and other Taylor items tucked away beneath the stairs she climbed when she was mine. I will open the cold, plastic crate and the scent of my sweet baby girl will fill my senses. I hope the sand makes it home, too, just so we can keep it real .... and beautifully messy.