Today, we were cleaning out a closet in the hallway and wound up with yet another lump in our throats.

How often do you throw away your shoes? Not too often. Our feet take us everywhere we go, from our first steps to our last. Our shoes are a testament of where we’ve been, who we are and what we do.

Like an attic full of old things, this closet held a lot of history and time in the soles of not only the feet which filled the shoes, but the souls of our hearts knowing the memories and times we shared with all these shoe laces and leather bindings.

There were the black and white oxfords from the cheerleading squad: the North Dade Optimist Bulldogs. From mascot to the varsity squad, this little cheerleader practiced and cheered her team on in the spirit of the game. Pink satin ballet shoes? Ballet wasn’t really her thing. Then we came across the leather penny loafers and the converse sneakers with the back of the heels bent down (that was the cool way to wear them). In a box we found some brightly-dyed pink satin pumps. Bridesmaid at big sister’s wedding. She was so tall; it was hard to concentrate on the bride and groom with this six-footer standing nearby.

There were lots and lots of sandals—they were her lifestyle; simple and cool and casual, with lots of room to show off her painted toes and tattoos. Her black and white Filas kept her looking fit and light on her feet. As for working out...there wasn’t too much time for that (everyone should look that out of shape).

On a funnier note, there were these Micky Mouse slippers...big yellow puffy things that kept her long toes warm and snug. Niki had the Goofy ones.

She loved her height and loved wearing the highest heels she could find, she didn’t mind being the giraffe...the air was better up there. Each pair had a story. The silver sandals went to Homecoming. She had two dates that night (she was 6'2" and the guys were maybe 5'6" tops): the white strappy sandals went to the Cooper City High Prom with Eric, the black ones went to the Western High Prom with Joey.

Ahh, the leather boots. How can a country girl get dressed without them? Gray, black, and brown, with pointed or round toes. This was the dilemma every Sunday night, line dancing at Despos: “Which ones should I wear, Daddy?” she would ask. “The black ones go with my jeans, but the brown ones go with my belt.”

“Doesn’t matter, Krissy,” Daddy would reply, “they won’t notice your boots anyway.”