These are my happy shoes. My singing and dancing shoes. When I’m wearing these shoes, they are like a mask for me. No matter what is going on in my life, when I wear these shoes, I put a smile on my face and get ready to share this smile with others.
These shoes have brought me so much joy and happiness in life, but I’ve also been wearing these shoes when I’ve received the saddest news in my life.
We don’t always know what’s underneath the masks people wear. We don’t always take the time to get to know other women and try to walk IN HER SHOES.
Just before COVID hit, the women’s group at our church (our Relief Society organization) was planning an event called IN HER SHOES. I was right in the middle of my song-writing mode for my new faith CD, and I felt very inspired to create a song to go along with the theme for this event.
Many women I know, some my treasured friends, struggle with anxiety and depression on an ongoing basis. I appreciate that they reach out and let me know when they are struggling. I understand how difficult it is to be vulnerable. When I was a young mother after giving birth to my third child, postpartum depression came to live with me for a long while. I’m not entirely sure anyone ever knew because I hid it pretty well. Many of us hide things well and don’t allow others to share in our journey.
The last verse of IN HER SHOES was written with my mother-in-law in mind. She was probably one of the best mother-in-law’s anyone could ever have. Always kind to me and never demanding. For the last years of her life she lived with us. When it became unsafe for her to be on her own when my husband I were at work, she moved to a senior’s home near us. We watched as she went from walking on her own every day, to needing a walker to get around, and shuffling very slowly. We would go to visit and walk around the block with her quite often – she would always take our arm if she wasn’t using her walker. These are fond and bittersweet memories.
You will notice her red shoes in the music video. These were the only shoes she could wear at the end of her life. When she bought them many year ago they were bright red, and as you can see at the end of the video and her life, they were pretty worn and faded. After she passed, I kept her shoes and bought some bright red shoe polish to shine them up to take some video footage. One of the biggest regrets I have is that I didn’t think to take the time to polish and shine her shoes when she was alive. I know it would have brought her joy and she would have appreciated it. I wish I had walked IN HER SHOES a little better when I had the chance.
I am so grateful for the women in my life. The strong, kind, compassionate, listening women who I trust. My sisters, my friends. Those who have taken the time to walk with me in life. I desire to be more like my Savior. I desire to be less judgmental and more compassionate. The struggle is real, but we can learn to have empathy and charity for all, like our Savior. We can learn to Walk in Her Shoes, even just a little, and by so doing, we receive immeasurable blessings of friendship and feel the pure love of Christ.