Who Took My Shoes?

Who Took My Shoes?
A doctor came into my room with a needle in his hand. “This is going to hurt,” he said. He did little to hide the sadness he felt about the pain he had to inflict, tears glistening at the corners of his eyes. “I’m so sorry,” he kept saying in a soft Celtic accent. But I needed that pain to get to the other side of cancer. “Bring it on, doctor,” I said. “I’m one tough cookie.” Really, I wasn’t concerned about the pain. I’m from the midwest, after all, and we’re not wimps. Plus, I have four brothers. By the time I was in grade school, I had been beat up, rolled in dirt, and showered with insults. I’d seen my teddy bear dangling from a noose. I’d had socks in my mouth, snails in my bed, and pepper in my milk. Don’t worry; I dished out as good as I got. There’s not much the world can do that tops the torture, or the joy, of growing up with six siblings. So the doctor gave me the shot, and it wasn’t that bad. Before I knew it, they were wheeling me off for a nipple-saving lumpectomy. I imagined Dr. Cheryl Ewing, and her buddy, Dr. Robert Foster, my surgeons, with the medical equivalent of a melon baller scraping up every last cancerous cell that had the audacity to outlive chemo. That night, I got to stay in the hospital, and really nice nurses made sure I was happy and comfortable while my overburdened husband finally got a good night's sleep somewhere else. But in the midst of all those miracles, somebody stole my shoes. “Um,” a hospital guy said the next morning. I’m not sure what his title was, but he delivered the bad news. My shoes were gone. Sheepish, he offered a pair of slippers from the gift shop so I could get home without getting my socks wet. Later, the hospital sent a check to reimburse m
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  1. Sharon Forman says:

    Best wishes to you for a complete recovery! Brava to you on your wonderful attitude! I just wanted to let you know that my mom would tell you that the loss of your shoes can be seen as great luck. For a superstitious Jewish person from Eastern Europe, the loss of the shoes might be seen as a “kappa-rah,” an “atonement.” The bad luck that might have followed you and your lump is now transferred to those shoes that went missing. They are essentially a “kappa-rah.” They took the hit for you that day, as the poor chickens used to serve as a “kappa-rah” and accept the bad deeds of the Jewish families that transferred their sins to them once a year prior to the day of Atonement. I know it sounds nuts, but for a certain generation of people, this shoe loss is really good news. Thank you for sharing your story and best wishes to you!

  2. Nancy Brier says:

    Sharon, that’s a great story. I’m going to pass it along to a friend whose shoes, ironically, we’re stolen the day this column went live. We can all use a little good luck. Thanks for sharing.

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