A Man With No Feet

A blue-eyed father and his young daughter peruse a children’s shoe store. Her big brown eyes glance around the tall shelves and light up at the sight of a pair of sparkly red maryjane’s.

In an instant, her father’s face sinks, taking a slow breath to prepare himself for the inevitable devastation of devastating his child.

            “Bug, we can’t buy those today.” He bends down to his daughter’s eye level.

            “Yes we can daddy.” She encourages him.

            “No… They are too expensive right now. I’m sorry.” As her face begins to contort in understanding, her cheeks flush fuchsia.

            “Why don’t we get some ice cream?” He says this like it’s the brightest idea he’s had all day. Her torment is thwarted and she begrudgingly follows behind her daddy on the way out of the shoe  store.

 

       Sitting on a bench in the California sun, her father sees her sadly watch her chocolate ice cream, as if she wished the rainbow sprinkles were red sparkles instead.

He gently says, “Lovebug, are you feeling ok?”

“I guess so.” She responds, wondering about it after she’s said it.

“I understand how you feel. But you know what?” He asked his daughter, and she looked up at him in response.

“I used to be unhappy because I had no shoes, until I, met a man who had no feet.”

Moments later, an amputee from the Los Angeles vets hospital rolled by in his wheel chair. The little girl instantly burst into tears.

Not seeing fear on her face but sadness, her father pulled her in close to comfort her; though it was he, so touched by her innocent compassion, who needed the hug.