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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

my father’s new orthopedic shoes

I do not know if there is anyone in the world who would recognize the pathos in my late father’s shoes, with his eighty-plus years of weight and exertion worn into them, as art but the way this image pulls at my filial heartstrings tell me it is so. What a huge effort I made to overcome his fearful, elderly resistance to change and get him into the car so that I could take him to the podiatrist to be fitted for orthopedic shoes. And what huge happiness when he felt how comfortable those orthopedic shoes were. Then such sadness just half a year later, when he had an awful stroke and needed only one of his orthopedic shoes because he lost a leg at the nursing home. I still cry.

On a lighter note, my father always wore black or brown shoes, and even though I have every color footwear imaginable available to me, I am most comfortable with black or brown shoes. Do most people share this preference? If so, why? Is it because the earth is typically brown and we color our shoes to match the earth upon which we stand? Is it because for thousands of years our mode of transportation was horse, and in admiration and solidarity with magnificent horses we shoe ourselves in brown or black to match their hooves? To hear me play this thought game would have amused my father, and if I told it just right I would have gotten a very good laugh out of him.

Caption: My Father’s Age Was Worn Into His Shoes, by Annmarie Throckmorton 2012.

Until I replaced them with new orthopedic shoes!


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