Saying Goodbye

For the last four weeks I have been taking an “unintentional sabbatical”. On my way to Tulsa to receive the honor of a lifetime—Phillips Theological Marshall Award— we stopped in Enid, OK to spend the night and connect with my college roommate. In my family I am known for my pratfalls, and crashes, to the point of slipping on my own banana peel. This crash was an innocent walk across the dining room of my hotel lobby. I am not quite sure how I did it, but my left toe stumbled on a slight raise in the floor. I managed to crash into a ‘high top’ with my right ribs and then smashing to the floor with my left knee.

I remember shouting from the floor at a guy who said, “Call 911”, “No”!!! Later that morning we began the final leg of the journey to Tulsa. By the time we got there we knew we had to go to an Urgent Care. Nothing was broken but I had a huge hematoma on my left leg. NOTHING was going to deter me from the awards ceremony. It did not disappoint. I knew I had to get back to Colorado so we took off two days early. A trip that normally takes nine hours turned into fourteen.

Then the days were back and forth with the Kaiser team. “Mark, you can’t go to work or drive until we meet on Feb. 24th”. Thank goodness Mary Kay is a fantastic RN or I would have been in a Rehab Center. I have been a captive patient with a woman who never stops thinking of projects, and keeps me going on my PT.

About a week ago she brought up the idea that has come up at least twice a year since we moved here. “Mark, could we go through the shoes that you can no long wear and give them a new home”. This time she got the answer she had been pushing for. “Ok”.

So I was sitting in my amazing chair that raises, lowers, adjusts and puts me to sleep. Within 10 minutes of my willingness to “de-shoe” there were 23 pair of shoes sitting in front of me. Check out the picture. I agreed to let go of all of them but a vintage pair of Nikes that I am giving to my grandson.

As I looked at the shoes, each of them had been part of my life for the last 40 years. There were the wingtips that I got married in. Shoes I walked through Israel, Europe, China, Latin America. Shoes that went on thousand of walks. Some of these shoes spent 11 years in the San Luis Valley, 18 years at South Broadway Christian, and six years in Greeley. They have been with me in the depths of grief and the heights of celebrations. The boots climbed my first—14er. I am now down to slip-on Sketchers. I appreciate them but something is lost on “style points”.

I am slowing getting better. I will never take walking for granted again. Nor will there ever be a pair of shoes like my Ecco walkers.

Onward and Upward,


6 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. Sorry about your fall. I have a keen awareness that staying on my feet is highly important. It comes with a busy and great life, I believe. So happy to “know” you, even as I do, and please keep writing. I truly look forward to what you have to say. Take care! Carolyn Carolyn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Nancy,,,,,, glad you are now able to continue with the writing. I had thought, “It’s been a few weeks since there has been something from Mark.” Congratulations on the award, grateful for your dear wife, looking forward to further musings.

    Liked by 1 person

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