Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The day that my grandma taught me the art of creating a memory with a ridiculous amount of shoes.
Lately I've been gathering memories of my grandmother who passed away in 2004. She was a pistol and taught me many life lessons that serve me to this day in my adult life. One day in particular has been swirling around in my heart. It was the end of summer in 1989 and I was spending an afternoon with Mammaw doing some back to school clothes shopping. At the time, Keds were popular and I just had to have a pair to add to my fall wardrobe. I remember heading into the shoe department at JcPenny's and standing before the mirror with crisp white Keds hugging my feet. I looked at Mammaw with hopeful eyes as she smiled and said "Well, I think we just have to buy those."
As we walked down the mall together she pulled me into another shoe store and said "I wonder if they have those Keds in red?" We waltzed in, found them, and walked out of the store with another pair of shoes. I felt so spoiled as we walked down the mall arm and arm with my two bags in tow."You know what?" Mammaw said as we walked into Dillard's (which was just a few doors down from the other shoe store) "I think that you need those shoes in yellow too."
I followed her into the shoe department as she asked the saleswoman to grab me a pair of yellow Keds to try on. Those yellow shoes had not been on my feet for thirty seconds when she told the lady to grab us a pair of orange ones too. To my amazement, she bought me both pairs. It was unheard of to buy four pairs of shoes in one day and I remember feeling so special. It didn't stop there either. We walked up the mall and stopped in every shoe store that carried Keds. We found green, blue, black, pink, baby blue, and purple Keds. She ended up buying me ten pairs of shoes that day.
I remember feeling overwhelmed and beyond happy that she had spoiled me so. I had asked her to stop as she paid for pair number five but she insisted that we keep on shopping until I owned a pair of Keds in every color. She told me that she wasn't just buying me shoes but that she was creating a memory. I was only fourteen at the time and didn't really see the significance other than the fact that I now had an awesome pair of shoes to match any outfit that I wanted to wear to school.
Now, as an adult, I look back on that lucky afternoon and smile. I may no longer own all those Keds in every color but I do own the memory. She taught me so much that day. Sometimes it's nice to go out of your way to do something out of the ordinary for the people that you love. Choose something so indulgent and special that the excitement settles in both of your hearts forever. I have many memories of my fun times with Mammaw that are not quite as exorbitant but this one stands out the in my mind often.
I remember when we drove away from the mall that the backseat was filled high with all the bags of new shoes. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and thanked her for being so generous. She patted my knee and said "I hope that you'll think about this when you're an adult and remember how special you are." Well, it was not lost on me after all because I look back on that shopping excursion and feel her love to this day. I hope to create many outrageous memories for my children and grandchildren. Her love and excitement for life will live on with every ridiculous memory that we create.
Posted by leigh hewett at 7:00 AM