John Shore Christian Blog and Commentary

A Painful Memory

So lately I've been getting much e-love from across the blogosphere. A beautiful thing, indeed. Makes me feel like I have friends. And with your friends, of course, you tend to share things that you wouldn't normally share with others -- personal, painful-type things. Things that happened to you when you were a kid.

Speaking of painful things that happened to me when I was a kid, here's a memory o' mine:

I am sitting on the floor of our family room. Each of my feet is wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap. I’m maybe four. I am the unhappy posessor of a condition whereby the skin on my feet itches so badly that I am constantly using just about anything I can get my hands on to scrape large and deep portions of it away, prefering the resultant stinging pain to the torture of unrelieved itching.

Since I can remember, the entire lower fourth of all my bed sheets have been stained with blood; instead of regular shoes I wear sandals and paper-thin socks that I wear once, peel off, and then throw away. The question of what exactly is wrong with my feet makes doctors call in other doctors, who call in other doctors, who shrug their shoulders and say they just don’t know, let's try this.

The latest thing they've tried is putting salve on my feet, and then wrapping them tight in the same stuff you use to wrap sandwiches. If possible, this has made my feet itch even more -- plus, now I can't get to them. If I end up in hell after I die, and the fire starts burning me, I’ll go, “Oh, yeah. This feels just like something that happened to my feet once.”

Anyway, as I’m sitting on the floor of our family room with my Saran-wrapped feet before me, I am trying my best not to cry, and generally failing at it. I’m also looking up at my mother, who is standing in the door space between our living room and kitchen. She is regarding me as if I’m something foul the cat has dragged in. Because my pain and tears are choking my words away, I try to communicate with my eyes that I know she can’t do anything about my feet, but that I desperately want some of her affection. She is having none of it, though. Looking disgusted, she turns and disappears back into the kitchen.

So. There's ... that moment. Awful!

My feet got better, by the way. They continued to plague me throughout high school (though they began improving around junior high), and by the time I was about 23 they were fine. (I have this weird, speckely sort of discoloration on the tops of my feet, though, from where I guess I actually scratched the color pigment off my feet, if you can believe it. There was a time they were actually talking about amputating my feet, I'd done them such damage. So I guess that makes sense.)

Today, I am happy to report that I am positively insane about shoes. Especially any kind of athletic shoe, which I used to never be able to wear. Life, of course, offers us all mind-boggling pleasures galore -- and one of them, for me, will always be putting on ... well, any kind of real shoes at all -- but especially a pair of athletic shoes.

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