Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cinderella Man

I absolutely loved the movie Cinderella man. Did you see it? It was a strange name for a movie but wound up being really touching. This post is actually not about a boxing movie though, its about shoes.
 Lots of shoes.
 Lots of really nice shoes.
 Lot's of really nice and expensive shoes.
 Lots of really nice and expensive men's shoes.
 Lots of really nice and expensive men's shoes that I am currently in possession of.

Here's what happened. We know this man Bob from daily mass. He has been nodding to us for the last 7 years we've lived here. I say 'nodding' because anyone who goes to daily mass knows the crowd I'm talking about. They're the folks that are making time for Jesus and prayer in the midst of a busy day, and they creep into church at the appointed time in order to pray, receive the Eucharist, and collect their thoughts. They don't talk to any other folks generally speaking. They 'nod' at the kiss of peace and everyone parts ways in the parking lot. If one of these folks are missing for a few days all the others notice and ask, even though they may not even know the name attached to the face. You may think this is unfriendly behavior and one of the drawbacks to church going- I gotta tell ya, its something I really like.

To me, seeing someone at mass every day for years says an awful lot to me already about that person. I don't really need to know much more on a superficial level to fill in the blanks. Yeah, maybe it would be nice to chat a bit more, but in a busy day, I don't mind the need for a quick reentry after noon mass.

In any case, Bob approached me after mass one day years ago while I was pregnant ( when wasn't I?) and asked if he could give me some trucks for the boys. He said virtually nothing else and then proceeded to his car and handed me a shopping bag full of antique trucks. He did this several times over the years. (He quickly became the boys favorite parishioner.) One day he asked Fred if he would help him move some furniture for a sick aunt. Fred obliged. From then on if Bob needed help moving himself or an older relative, Fred was the man he asked. About a year ago Bob told us he had cancer.We saw him recently and while his treatments are going well, he mentioned he has an uncle who passed away and he really needed help from Fred and I cleaning up the place. We both said we'd do it. He told us we could have whatever we wanted if we helped him out. We 'nodded' kindly.

The homily at mass that day was previewing Pentecost. Father told us that the next day was the birthday of the church and we should be prepared to accept whatever presents Jesus had waiting for us. Bob asked us to help him the next day ( Pentecost) and  so I was not completely clueless Jesus might be saying something to me in this obvious set-up.

So the next day we met up with Bob. We were fully prepared to roll up our sleeves and get to work scrubbing. When the door opened our jaws almost fell on the floor. An immaculate condo with furniture that was REALLY beautiful stood before us. Bob asked us to empty out the closets. We opened the doors and loaded up boxes of mens clothes and shoes, tools, and all sorts of odds and ends in pefect condition and asked what he wanted us to do with them. "Keep them or give them away" were our instructions. No matter how many times or ways we insisted- maybe he wanted or could use some of this stuff he just laughed and shrugged.  "No thanks, what am I gonna do with them? " and we'd get back to work.Fred and I were stunned at his level of detatchment. Remember the four poster bed from a few nights ago? That was Bob's uncles. Along with the rest of the bedroom set. 

So Fred and I and the boys have been packing up and cleaning out another mans life. Mr. Cash's life to be exact ( yes his name was actually Mr. Cash- I am SO serious!).

I found that the really strange thing that happens when you're given the proverbial keys to the candy shop though, is that you realize you can't really eat as much as you might  think. After the initial shock of being told we could take anything we liked, we realized well, we don't really need very much after all. Its pretty cool, but its all someone else' life and things. We've made our own. So yes, where we can fit it in we will, but it's also kind of fun to give things away and make them more useful in general.

( Well, EXCEPT maybe for this SWEET find! A very old Magnavox in mint condition that still works! YES!!! It is sitting on our new screen porch and Fred has already got it playing tunes. Can't wait to find some old records and let the boys check it out!)

 So now we're back to 14 pairs of men's shoes. All a size 8.5. (We are talking about a man with small feet.) I cannot begin to tell you how many families I called searching down the Cinderella man. Even John Paul cannot fit these shoes. Finally after doing my best impression of prince charming, I found my very own dear brother-in-law Christopher was the perfect fit! He doesn't even know that the next time I see him I will be showering him with shoes! More shoes than anyone could possible need for one set of feet . But you know the saying -

if the shoe fits...! 

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