Taken circa 1903. No known copyright restrictions.

A Pair of Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes. 
They are ugly shoes. 
Uncomfortable shoes. 
I hate my shoes. 
Each day I wear them, and 
each day I wish I had another pair.

Some days my shoes hurt so bad that 
I do not think I can take another step. 
Yet, I continue to wear them. 
I get funny looks wearing these shoes. 
They are looks of sympathy. 
I can tell in others’ eyes that they are 
glad they are my shoes and not theirs. 
They never talk about my shoes. 
To learn how awful my shoes are 
might make them uncomfortable.

To truly understand these shoes 
you must walk in them. 
But once you put them on, 
you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not 
the only one who wears these shoes. 
There are many pairs in this world. 
Some women are like me and ache daily 
as they try and walk in them.

Some have learned how to walk in 
them so they don’t hurt quite as much. 
Some have worn the shoes so long 
that days will go by before 
they think about how much they hurt. 
No woman deserves to wear these shoes. 
Yet, because of these shoes 
I am a stronger woman. 
These shoes have given me 
the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am. 
I will forever walk in the shoes 
of a woman who has lost a child.

— Author Unknown

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