Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Shoes, shoes, shoes....and more SHOES!!!

AAAGGGHHHH!!! Excuse me for my outburst but I am about to burst. My dear mother saves EVERYTHING!!! I mean EVERYTHING. Including shoes. When the movers came to her closet of shoes and opened it they stared incredulously at the number of pairs of shoes. She has been called, lovingly, the Imelda Marcos of America.

When my parents moved here five years ago they had downsized, somewhat, from their lovely home to their retirement apartment. But, not nearly enough. As my Dad and I went through things in the garage he would make a decision to "throw that away" or "put that in the give away pile". Dad and I worked wonderfully together! :) Somehow there were two BIG boxes of shoes that we didn't get to. We ended up storing them in my dear hubby's shed in the back yard. That was 5 years ago. Well, this past weekend we ended up cleaning out the shed which meant that we needed to deal with the boxes of shoes.

Bless my mother's heart, for her feet are severely deformed now due to her arthritis and severe swelling in her foot and ankle. There are not many different kinds of shoes that she is able to wear. We get the boxes into a spare bedroom and I tell her I will help her go through the shoes and determine if there is any she can wear. She put if off until today. Well, that's not exactly accurate. Yes, she did put it off and would have continued to put it off except I told her today was the day!

We sat down together and I told her that we needed to try on just the left foot first, because if she couldn't get the left shoe on she wouldn't be able to wear the shoes. (The left foot is the one she has the most problems with.) We began. Oh, she tried. She was so proud that she had kept all these shoes and kept saying what great shape they were in. There were several pairs, which were exactly the same shoe, just in different colors. We ended up keeping 10 pairs of shoes out of the 60 or so shoes she tried on.

I take them into her bedroom to put them away in her closet. I open the closet door, get seated on the floor and reach in to her closet to her shoe shelf. It is COVERED with more boxes of shoes. At least 10 boxes of shoes. She will never wear them. She doesn't go anywhere where she would dress up enough to wear them, and if she did, she could have one or two pairs that would do just fine for any dressier clothes. Not hundreds to choose from!!!! She comes into the room and tells me, "Not that closet, the other one." I look up at her and ask, "Are you aware that you have about 10 more boxes of shoes down here, in this closet, not to mention several pairs that are not in boxes?" "Oh, nooo....I guess I'd forgotten about them."

Well, the ones she is keeping are stored away and the others, I guess, we will try on some other day. At least two huge moving boxes have been combined into one box and it is scheduled to be picked up for donation on Tuesday. I'm making progress, itty bitty progress, but still progress. I'm thankful for each small victory.

I struggle with balancing the respect the other person should have and letting them have a say in the decision. She would never, ever throw anything out or give it away if she had a choice. There are three bedrooms upstairs. My husband and I gave them the master bedroom on the main floor, which had two large closets in the dressing room. We knocked out a wall between two bedrooms downstairs to make a "master bedroom" for us. My mother has clothes in both of the other 2 bedroom closets...jammed in. And, she has taken over my father's closet once he died. She has 4 closets full of clothes, not to mention all the clothes packed away in boxes. What am I to do???

I suggested this afternoon, after the shoes, that I take one of the boxes of clothes and go through it. Anything that was a "pull over" we would set aside to be given away and anything that buttoned we could set that aside for her to try on at a later date. I thought since we were on a roll with the shoes we could carry it over to the clothes. No such luck.

It makes me sad for her but my frustration is quickly overcoming any feelings of sadness. I guess my prayer is that she will soften to the suggestion that I go through the boxes of clothes. I don't even want to begin in the closets at all. I'm willing to wait on that or not do it all until it is no longer an issue. But, the boxes should and could be dealt with. May I have a loving attitude, and a respectful attitude as I deal with this issue. It would be so much easier if she was my 3 year old child and not my 89 year old mother.

Lord, grant me mercy and patience. May my attitude be one of softness and love. May my speech be sweet.


Kim said...

I have visions of myself when I am 89. I am afraid I plead guilty to a love of shoes.

Pilot Mom said...

Thanks for the laugh today, Kim! I only hope you are not living with your daughter if you 100's of shoes! :)

G~ said...

((((Claire))))) Honey, I don't envy you one bit. My mom is a packrat, too. She's not too bad right now, as she'll keep things clean and she knows where most everything is, but I really do dread the day she ever needs assistance of any kind!

Praying you are overshadowed with patience and your mom with a spirit of giving and willingness to simplify!

~hugs to you~

Lizy said...

The shoe world has obviously gone bootie mad.Nice post to laugh..Me too crazy about shoes.

Fashion said...

Awesome post!!!!!I think your mother has the idea about Carolina shoes.....That was the great thing.....