The other day, as I was trying to clean the house to prevent dust from irritating our fragile airways, I noticed that David has many very similar, nice-looking, black leather shoes stashed under his side of our bed, collecting a lot of dust. As I was peering under the bed, I noticed that Sonic the cat was sniffing inside the shoes, looking for something he’d lost. It turned out that a petrified lizard had hidden inside one of the shoes to flee his captor. I pulled all the shoes out, extracted the lizard and then carried it outside into the bushes, much to Sonic’s chagrin. I then lined up all the shoes. From above, they all looked the same and in pretty good shape, but David had told me before that he wears out his shoes in a very particular way that only shows on the underside. Because of his degenerative neurological condition, he struggles to walk and now uses a cane almost all of the time. He leans to one side as he walks and this wears out the soles of his shoes on the side he puts more weight on. Over the last year or so, he has worn down a few pairs and has more waiting in boxes in the closet. However, he hadn’t disposed of the old ones. When I pointed out all the under-the-bed shoes, he immediately suggested he give some of them away as part of my giveaway.
Today, I was stuck in hospital all day being treated, observed and tested. The only thing I had brought with me that I could have given away is a Turkish coin purse, but since most of the staff and many of the patients at the hospital I’m in are Armenian, and this year is the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, such a gift didn’t strike me as very culturally sensitive. So, even though he already had his hands full looking after Theo, taking him to a doctor’s appointment to get him checked out too, David gallantly offered to contributed three pairs of his shoes to the Giveaway by dropping them off in the Planet Aid (http://www.planetaid.org) bin near our home. He even took the picture for the blog! Hopefully, the shoes, which still look pretty sharp and hopefully won’t tilt too much to one side (!), will help a young man out there with very little money for clothes, stand up proud in his first job interview. With this blog, I never know from day to day how the giveaway will play out, and I may never know the impact some of the gifts will have on the recipients, but that’s part of what makes it such a rewarding exercise, especially on a day like today when I didn’t get to put my own shoes on and step outside.