I had the craziest rush of memories and emotions today, all brought about by gazing at my shoes.These dirty, worn out, tired, faux crocs.
I bought these shoes the day Marissa was born. I had just been told that I was to be on bed rest until the 19th, when we had scheduled my c-section. I stopped by Payless shoes on the way home from work because I wanted something to shuffle around the hospital in and I didn't have any good slippers. I paid $7.50 for them.
I had always made fun of crocs. I thought they were funny looking. I still do, really. But there was just something about them that made me think they would be good for my hospital stay. Made of soft, squishy rubber - check. Easy to slip on and off - check. Non-slip soles - check.
Little did I know they would be good for so much more.
I was wearing them when my water broke at home. Any other shoes would have been ruined but I was able to wash them off, dry them and wear them again, right away.
They made the countless, endless, mind-numbing hours standing by Marissa's bed in the NICU more bearable, physically anyway.
They took no effort to put on as I hurried out the door the day the NICU called and told us Marissa was in congestive heart failure and needed to be sent to Denver for heart surgery.
They were so light on my feet as I would sit and hold my girl, looking at her with all the tubes and wires that had become so familiar yet so foreign, feeling as though the weight of the world was crashing down on my head.
They carried me silently up and down the hospital hallways to be with my girl more times than I care to count.
As I sat on the back patio swing today, watching Marissa run, jump, and play with such great joy and energy, it all came flooding back. I glanced down at my shoes and, I swear, I went back through every one of the 79 days Marissa spent in the NICU before she came home, in great detail. Don't get me wrong, I often think back and remember those days. Just not like I experienced today.
Eventually, she came up on the patio, climbed up on the swing, sat beside me, and reached for my hand. As we sat there holding hands, I once again thanked God for this little wonder of a girl He has blessed us with. To think of where she was exactly three years ago and to watch her laugh, play, run, and jump now is nothing short of a miracle.
All of this because I was wearing some old, worn out shoes.