Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Basket Full of Old Shoes

As I mentioned, I'm conducting a pre-spring cleaning overhaul in our little Atlanta apartment.  

I just got back from donating a car load to Goodwill. I've been there a lot over the past year. I donated some of my old clothes, games, accessories, etc.  My friend who works at the Goodwill in Nashville tells me every time I donate, I am creating jobs. Warm-fuzzies. 

Tonight, I started to tackle Jimmy's closet. 

Some of the stuff in his closet was put there a year and a half ago when we moved in. I really haven't touched any of it since. 

Like... Jimmy's old shoes. 
This laundry basket full of shoes has been in the corner of Jimmy's
closet since we moved in Oct. 2011 
Jimmy can't wear a lot of his old shoes.  We have no way of knowing if they were ever too tight or caused blisters.  That type of thing now could create big skin problems, so we have to buy shoes a little bigger/wider for him. 

During a crazy cleaning-out stint today, I decide it was time.  I asked Jimmy if he cared if we went through his old shoes, really not knowing how he'd respond. He said it was fine. Kind of anticlimactic.

I probably got that response because the Tarheels were on -- and winning.  

I went through all his shoes pair by pair.  Some of them I had never seen, so I knew it was time to toss them. Like some chunky black boots that were in style, in like 2004.   

Some, though, I certainly had seen and they placed me right back in our former life. It was hard. They're just shoes. And yet, so hard. Just shoes.  

Maybe this is why I hadn't touched the basket full of old shoes for a year and a half.  My brain/heart are subconsciously so smart and protective.    

There were some shoes I still couldn't part with. Four pairs. 

1) Jimmy's old work shoes.  Those smelly-ass Nikes are so Jimmy. So photogy. Even Jimmy said to dump them because they stink.  Sorry, not ready.  And, really... I don't have to smell them.  They are going in a far corner of the closet.  I feel proud I got Jimmy to finally wear ankle socks with these shoes.

2) Jimmy's golf shoes.  Man, he looked so cute in those. Those are staying.    

3) Also, some brown loafers that I'm 90% sure were the last pair of shoes he bought himself. 

It goes without saying that we'll be keeping his Rainbows.  Don't even get me started on those. I could cry right now thinking about Jimmy in his Rainbows.  

So, we did it. We donated Jimmy's old shoes. Insert some cheesy line about getting rid of stuff from the past so we can make space for the future, etc.

I don't think I expected the walk down memory lane or all the emotions today, but I knew when I approached Jimmy's closet today it would be a challenge. 

We'll leave his clothes for another day. 

Baby steps. 


  1. I love you Jaimie and are so proud to be your cousin. What a phenomenal woman you are!

  2. You are brave! And I love that you kept four pair. I love that you described one pair as "photogy."

    I can't imagine the part of the journey you're on, because I wasn't with Michael when he broke his neck. He was a teenager, and it would be years and years before we met.

    But sometimes, it's really hard for me to look back at old pictures of him. It's so mysterious. Sometimes I stare at them - especially the pictures of his hands, or pictures where he is sitting up, strong and tall. But sometimes, I just glance, and it's too much.

    I think the fear and anticipation is the hardest part of this life we lead. Once we get to actually tackling something, we can do it.

    Take that, pile of old shoes!