Those shoes

I sat half-turned to my neighbor at work. “Is that a picture of your daughters?” she asked eagerly stopping by to peek at my wallpaper. I beamed as I said “yes!”. We traded notes on our kids and drifted off to how it was a light day at work.

Then it happened. I wondered if her daughter was back. A cloud passed through her face. It registered but I did not pay heed. I pressed on. She reluctantly shared that she was still with her mom. Indignation rose in my heart. The words were out before I could hold them in. “Why?” came out loaded with the brunt of my unspoken dreams.

By the time the short stilted conversation was over, I was feeling miserable. Miserable for hurting her. Shame at being judgemental and sadness at wearing my heart on my sleeve.

“Walk a mile in her shoes” spoke a voice in my head. Yes. those infamous shoes. I had no clue what weight she carried under her demure eyes. As I mull over how to make amends for my stupidity, I remind myself of those shoes again and realize how much more I have to learn.

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