There are nights when I wander kind of aimlessly around the web.
Tonight I'm taking a few minutes to do just that:
I got an email from The Edinburgh Bookshop announcing an Glitterary Afternoon Tea for the launch of Nicola Morgan's new book "Write To Be Published" which is based on her immensely popular blog Help! I Need a Publisher...
So I wandered over to the blog and found this post The Feet with a Thousand Followers promoting a little competition to celebrate the blog's 1000 followers mark. A competition to write 150 words in any form or genre inspired by a photo. I wandered again to find the results and was caught by surprise: maybe I had been led their for a reason tonight...
There in front of me was a little story called "Walk a Mile" by Patsy Collins and I'll share it with you here:
"Walk a mile in someone's shoes before you know them. That's what 'they' say. Maybe they're right; I wouldn't know.
I'd like to wear ballet pumps. Stand on the points of my toes, even if it gave me calluses. Or don flippers to swim in warm pools, or cold, dangerous seas. Skis sound fun, rushing downhill so fast my eyes wouldn't focus on the whitescape flashing by. Maybe I'd break my leg. I wouldn't mind the cast, not if it came after trying the skis. I'd have put on the boots of those Chilean miners and paced hopefully in the darkness, if I could.
Look at my shoes. Pretty, lots of colours. If you want to know me, put them on. Don't walk a mile. Or even a step. I can't you see. To know me, sit in my shoes and think where you'll walk when you've taken them off."
The story touched a nerve.
A raw nerve that I have struggled with since Eilidh's diagnosis:
I cannot know what Eilidh is feeling.
I cannot put myself in her shoes, now or in the future.
I cannot ever really understand how she will truly feel about SMA and her inability to walk.
And that hurts and angers me.
But in her story Patsy allows just a little glimpse, a little insight into "her shoes" and I had to thank her for doing that so I posted a comment - I hope that she gets to read it:
"I'd like to thank patsy for her entry...
i stumbled across this blog via the edinburgh bookshop and i'm grateful that i did.
my 2 year old little girl has spinal muscular atrophy and is wheelchair dependent.
she loves shoes: red shoes, purple shoes, shoes with flowers, shoes with bows; but my heart breaks when we go shoe shopping because she will never walk in them.
i take her perfect little shoes, unscuffed and unscratched, off each evening and wonder what it will be like to be "in her shoes" in years to come when she will be more aware of her disability and what she can and cannot do.
i want to thank patsy for placing me "in her shoes": i am sitting here wondering what it would be like to wear shoes that will never touch the ground, shoes that will remain imperfectly perfect, and i have to admit, i can't."