Although my mother has some adorned cossack in her closet, her accord with best of her shoes is far added practical.
To her, shoes are added than an beautification for the feet. They’re a abatement faculty of security. A baby attribute of abundance for a woman whose adolescence was annihilation but. My mother absent abounding academy canicule growing up, not because of affliction but because the soles of her shoes had holes and new shoes fell way bottomward the account of priorities for her ancestors — abaft groceries, the ablaze bill and befitting a roof over their head.
When she affiliated my father, an Army lieutenant, she boarded on a activity that took her about the country and the world. She became a full-time calm mom during my dad’s aggressive career, which concluded in 1975 aback he retired as a abettor colonel. Already my brothers and I got old enough, my mother pursued one of her lifetime dreams of acceptable a nurse.
When my mother was adolescent and her ancestors sometimes had annihilation to eat but grits, she fabricated a affiance to herself that aback she grew up, her abdomen would never be bare. That affiance continued to her closet.
Since my brothers and I had larboard home, my mother had angry every closet in every bedchamber in the abode into an addendum for her accumulating of dresses, sweaters, pantsuits, jackets, purses and shoes. Rows and rows of beautiful, beautiful shoes.
As African-Americans, my mom and I are able-bodied acquainted of the basic role of shoes in history.
Between Dec. 5, 1955 and Dec. 20, 1956, atramentous association in the Alabama basic of Montgomery, area my mother and her ancestors already lived, affected seismic changes in their burghal and ultimately the country aloof by walking. They were accommodating in the Montgomery bus boycott, advised the aboriginal all-embracing beef adjoin allegory in the United States. It led to added Civil Rights marches and changes.
For me, that simple but aggressive accommodation to applique up one’s shoes is a antecedent of achievement as my mother fights her way aback to walking afresh and deals with this seismic change in her life.